Diet of pumas (Puma concolor) in Sonora, Mexico, as determined by GPS kill sites and molecular identified scat, with comments on jaguar (Panthera onca) diet

Southwestern Naturalist
By: , and 

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Abstract

We documented puma (Puma concolor) and jaguar (Panthera onca) prey consumption in northeastern Sonora, Mexico, by investigating global positioning system cluster sites (n = 220), and conducting molecular analyses of scat (n = 116) collected between 2011 and 2013. We used camera trap data (n = 8,976 camera days) to estimate relative abundances of pumas and jaguars. Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was the most frequent prey for puma found at kill sites (67%) and identified from scat (74%), although based on relative numbers of prey consumed, deer represented 45% and lagomorphs 20% of the proportion of all individuals eaten. A variety of small prey (weighing <15 kg) comprised the majority (52%) of the jaguar kill sites. From prey found at kill sites, jaguars killed calves (Bos taurus) at a lower frequency than previously reported, whereas pumas preyed on calves at a higher frequency than previously reported in the same area. In our study area, jaguars preyed on calves at approximately the same rate as pumas (jaguars 3.7 calves per year, pumas 4.9 calves per year). Calculated predation rates were limited only to collared animals within our study area and therefore should not be considered applicable to all pumas and jaguars in Sonora.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Diet of pumas (Puma concolor) in Sonora, Mexico, as determined by GPS kill sites and molecular identified scat, with comments on jaguar (Panthera onca) diet
Series title Southwestern Naturalist
DOI 10.1894/0038-4909-61.2.125
Volume 61
Issue 2
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Southwestern Association of Naturalists
Publisher location Dallas, TX
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
First page 125
Last page 132
Country Mexico
State Sonora
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N