Jaguar (Panthera onca) and puma (Puma concolor) diets in Quintana Roo, Mexico

Ávila–Nájera, D. M.  Palomares, F.  Chávez, C.  Tigar, B.  Mendoza, G. D. 

Abstract

A study was carried out for two years in Northwest Quintana Roo, México, using scat analysis to determine the diet and prey preferences of pumas and jaguars. Cat species and gender were determined using molecular techniques (rapid classificatory protocol: polymerise chain reaction, RCP–PCR), and prey abundance was estimated from camera trapping. The scats contained remains from 16 wild mammal species, but there was no evidence of livestock or other taxa. The diet breadths of jaguar (0.32) and puma (0.29) indicated a high degree of prey specialization, which combined with their dietary overlap (Pianka index 0.77) suggested competition between them. However, both felids showed a preference for red brocket deer Mazama temama, and frequently consumed collared peccaries Pecari tajacu. The importance of such large ungulates in the felids’ diets is similar to the expected patterns of wild meat consumption in rural areas of the Northern Yucatan Peninsula. Therefore, future conservation management plan initiatives should involve local rural communities in the management of sustainable hunting, considering these ungulates are also the felid prey species.

Key words

Diet breadth, Diet overlap, Felines, Human–felid conflict, Subsistence hunting, Wild meat

Reception date: 5 IV 17 | Data d\'acceptció: 30 X 17 | Publication date: 3 I 18

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