Advertisement

Environmental Management

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 237–253 | Cite as

Mosaics of Exotic Forest Plantations and Native Forests as Habitat of Pumas

  • Marcelo MazzolliEmail author
Article

Abstract

There is a general lack of information on the impact of forest plantations and the presence of urban settlements on populations of resource-demanding species such as large felids. To partially address this problem, a project study was conducted to find out whether mosaics of forest plantations and native vegetation can function as an adequate habitat for pumas (Puma concolor) in southern Brazil. The study was conducted within a 1255-km2 area, managed for planted stands of Pinus spp. and Eucalyptus spp. Individual identification of pumas was carried out using a combination of track-matching analysis (discriminant analysis) and camera-trapping. Both techniques recorded closely similar numbers of individual pumas, either total (9–10 individuals) or resident (5–6 individuals). A new approach, developed during this study, was used to individualize pumas by their markings around the muzzle. The estimated density varied from 6.2 to 6.9 individuals/100 km2, ranking among the highest across the entire puma range and indicating a potential total population of up to 87 individuals in the study site. In spite of the availability of extensive areas without human disturbance, a radio-tracked female used a core home range that included forest plantations, an urbanized village, and a two-lane paved road with regular vehicular traffic. The high density of pumas and the species’ intensive use of modified landscapes are interpreted here as deriving from conditions rarely found near human settlements: mutual tolerance by pumas and humans and an adequate habitat (regardless of plantations) largely due to the inhibition of invasions and hunting and maintenance of sizable extents of native forest patches. More widely, it suggests the potential of careful management in forestry operations to provide habitat conditions for resource-demanding species such as the puma. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of curbing invasions and hunting, in this case provided by the presence of company employees, for the maintenance of wildlife populations.

Keywords

Camera-trapping Forestry Habitat fragmentation Live-trapping Radio-tracking Tracks 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am indebted to Marcella J. Kelly for her invaluable help in improving the manuscript and to Laurence Mackin for spell-check and grammar corrections. In chronological order, the project started with the commitment from the Klabin Paper Company in southern Brazil to support research on its land. Several persons were involved at this stage. Ralf Andreas Berndt gave initial support for the project. Paulo Kikuti and other executive directors, including Raul M. Speltz, approved and supported the project during the course of the study. The Park staff provided help with traps, including Sérgio A. Filipak, Alceu B. Mello, Lauredi J. Mello, Donizete L. Bueno, Anastácio T. de Oliveira, and Eliane F. Leite. GIS maps of the study area were kindly provided by Nilton L. Venturi. Eliane F. Young Blood helped with the company’s library. Assistance in data collection and veterinarian support was provided by Catherine B. Ryan. Many memorable moments were spent on the trail accompanied by my very enthusiastic 3-year old-daughter Kimberly. Part of the analysis in this article was conducted in the United Kingom when I was writing my MSc thesis. The UK Foreign Office and the British Council provided me with a Chevening scholarship, and I am particularly grateful to Ann Lipe and Judith Elliot of the UK British Council. I am also indebted to my then supervisor, Dr. Nigel Dunstone, for helping me with the thesis.

References

  1. Athreya V, Belsare A (2006) ‘Carnivore Conflict’: support provided to leopards involved in conflict-related cases in Maharashtra. Wildlife Trust of India, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  2. Bacha CJC, Barros ALM (2004) Reflorestamento no Brasil: evolução recente e perspectivas para o futuro. Scientia Forestalis 66:191–203Google Scholar
  3. Beier P (1991) Cougar attacks on humans in the United States and Canada. Wildlife Society Bulletin 19:403–412Google Scholar
  4. Beier P (1995) Dispersal of juvenile cougars in fragmented habitat. Journal of Wildlife Management 59:228–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Belden RC, Frankenberger WB, McBride RT, Schwikert ST (1988) Panther habitat use in southern Florida. Journal of Wildlife Management 52:660–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carroll C, Noss RF, Paquet PC (2000) Carnivores as focal species for conservation in the rocky mountain region. Ecological Applications 11:961–980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chiarello AG (2000) Conservation value of a native forest fragment in a region of extensive agriculture. Revista Brasileira de Biologia 60(2):37–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Child G (1995) Wildlife and people: the Zimbabwean success. How conflict between animals and people became progress for both. Wisconsin Foundation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Comiskey EJ, Bass OL Jr, Gross LJ, McBride RT, Salinas R (2002) Panthers and forests in South Florida: an ecological perspective. Conservation Ecology 6:18. Available from http://www.consecol.org/vol6/iss1/art18
  10. Cullen L Jr, Bodmer RE, Pádua CV (2000) Effects of hunting in habitat fragments of the Atlantic forests, Brazil. Biological Conservation 95:49–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. ECE/FAO (2000) Forest products annual review (1999)–(2000) Timber Bulletin Vol. LIII. UN/ECE Timber CommitteeGoogle Scholar
  12. Eisenberg JF (1980) The density and biomass of tropical mammals. In: Soulé ME, Wilcox BA (eds) Conservation biology: an evolutionary perspective. Sinauer, Sunderland, MA, pp 35–55Google Scholar
  13. Emmons LH (1987) Comparative feeding ecology of felids in a neotropical rainforest. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 20:271–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Evans J (1999) Planted forests of the wet and dry tropics: their variety, nature, and significance. New Forests 17:1–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fitzhugh EL, Gorenzel WP (1985) Design and analysis of mountain lion track surveys. In: Laudenslayer WF Jr (ed) Cal-Neva wildlife. Western Section, The Wildlife Society, California, pp 78–87Google Scholar
  16. Fjelline DP, Mansfield TM (1989) Method to standardize the procedure for measuring mountain lion tracks. In: Smith RH (ed) Proceedings of the Third Mountain Lion Workshop, Prescott, AZ, pp 49–51 Google Scholar
  17. Frankel OH (1983) The place of management and conservation. In: Schonewald-Cox C, Chambers SM, Bruce M, Lawrence T (eds) Genetics and conservation: a reference for managing wild animal populations. Benjamin/Cummings, New York, pp 1–13Google Scholar
  18. Franklin WL, Johnson WE, Sarno RJ, Iriarte JA (1999) Ecology of the Patagonia puma Felis concolor patagonica in southern Chile. Biological Conservation 90:33–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gay SW, Best TL (1996) Age-related variation in skulls of the puma (Puma concolor). Journal of Mammalogy 77:191–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Grigione MM, Burman P, Bleich VC, Pierce BM (1999) Identifying individual mountain lions Felis concolor by their tracks: refinement of an innovative technique. Biological Conservation 88:25–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Harvey MJ, Barbour RW (1965) Home range of Microtus ochrogaster as determined by a modified minimum area method. Journal of Mammalogy 46:398–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. IBGE (1992) Guia da vegetação brasileira. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  23. IUCN (1990) Our common future. IUCN, Gland, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  24. Karanth KU, Nichols JD (1998) Estimation of tiger densities in India using photographic captures and recaptures. Ecology 79:2852–2862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Karanth KU, Sunquist ME (1992) Population structure, density and biomass of large herbivores in the tropical forests of Nagarahole, India. Journal of Tropical Ecology 8:21–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Karanth KU, Nichols JD, Kumar NS (2004a) Photographic sampling of elusive mammals in tropical forests. In: Thompson WL (ed) Sampling rare or elusive species: concepts and techniques for estimating population parameters. Island Press, Washington, DC, pp 229–247Google Scholar
  27. Karanth KU, Nichols JD, Kumar NS, Link WA, Hines JE (2004b) Tigers and their prey: predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 101(14):4854–4858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kawanishi K, Sunquist ME (2004) Conservation status of tigers in a primary rainforest of Peninsular Malaysia. Biological Conservation 120:329–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kelly MJ, Noss AJ, di Bitetti MS, Maffei L, Arispe RL, Paviolo A, de Angelo CD, di Blanco YE (2008) Estimating puma densities from camera trapping across three study sites: Bolivia, Argentina, and Belize. Journal of Mammalogy 89(2):408–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kenward R, Hodder KH (1995) Ranges V. An analysis system for biological location data. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Furzebrook Research Station, Wareham, Dorset, UKGoogle Scholar
  31. Lewison R, Fitzhugh EL, Galentine SP (2001) Validation of a rigorous track classification technique: identifying individual mountain lions. Biological Conservation 99(3):313–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mac Nab BK (1963) Bioenergetics and the determination of home range size. American Naturalist XCVII(894):133–140Google Scholar
  33. Maehr DS (1990) The Florida panther and private lands. Conservation Biology 4:167–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Maffei L, Noss AJ (2008) How small is too small? Camera trap survey areas and density estimates for ocelots in the Bolivian Chaco. Biotropica 40:71–75Google Scholar
  35. Maffei L, Cuéllar E, Noss A (2004) One thousand jaguars (Panthera onca) in Bolivia’s Chaco? Camera trapping in the Kaa-Iya National Park. Journal of Zoology (London) 262:295–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mäher JKF Jr, Schneider M (2003) Ungulados. In: Fontana CS, Bencke GA, Reis RE (eds) Livro Vermelho da Fauna Ameaçada de Extinção no Rio Grande do Sul. Edipucrs, Porto Alegre, Brazil, pp 547–565Google Scholar
  37. Mazzolli M (2000) A comparison of habitat use by the mountain lion (Puma concolor) and kodkod (Oncifelis guina) in the southern Neotropics with implications for the assessment of their vulnerability status. MSc thesis, University of Durham, Durham, UKGoogle Scholar
  38. Mazzolli M (2005) Avaliando integridade ambiental e predizendo extinções locais a partir de padrões de desaparecimento da mega-mastofauna atual do sul do Brasil. Proceeding of the III Congresso Brasileiro de Mastozoologia. Aracruz, ES. Sociedade Brasileira de Mastozoologia/UFES, 12–16 October, p 111Google Scholar
  39. Mazzolli M (2006) Persistência e riqueza de mamíferos focais em sistemas agropecuários no planalto meridional. PhD Thesis, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  40. Mazzolli M (2007) Projeto Puma: studying and conserving puma and jaguar in Brazil. Wild Felid Monitor 1(1):15Google Scholar
  41. Mazzolli M (2009) Mountain lion Puma concolor attacks on a maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus and a domestic dog in a forestry system. Mastozoologia Neotropical 16(2):465–470Google Scholar
  42. Mazzolli M, Graipel ME, Dunstone N (2002) Mountain lion depredation in southern Brazil. Biological Conservation 105:43–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Michalski F, Boulhosa RLP, Faria A, Peres CA (2006) Human-wildlife conflicts in a fragmented Amazonian forest landscape: determinants of large felid depredation on livestock. Animal Conservation 9:179–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mishra C (1997) Livestock depredation by large carnivores in the Indian trans-Himalaya: conflict perceptions and conservation prospects. Environmental Conservation 24:338–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Neu CW, Byers CR, Peek JM (1974) A technique for analysis of utilization: availability data. Journal of Wildlife Management 38(3):541–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Norton P (1984) Leopard conservation in South Africa. African Wildlife 38:191–196Google Scholar
  47. Norton PM, Henley SR (1987) Home range and movements of male leopards in the Cedarberg Wilderness Area, Cape Province. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 17:41–48Google Scholar
  48. Nowell K, Jackson P (1996) Status, survey and conservation action plan, wild cats. IUCN, Gland, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  49. Nyhus PJ, Tilson R (2004) Characterizing human–tiger conflict in Sumatra, Indonesia: implications for conservation. Oryx 38:68–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Oli MK, Taylor IR, Rogers ME (1994) Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) predation of livestock: an assessment of local perceptions in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. Biological Conservation 68:63–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Otis DL, Burnham KP, White GC, Anderson DR (1978) Statistical inference from capture data on closed animal populations. Wildlife Monographs 62, The Wildlife Society, Lawrence, KSGoogle Scholar
  52. Palmberg-Lerche C, Iversen PA, Sigaud P (2002) Forest genetic resources. Forest Genetic Resources Bulletin 29. FAO, Rome Google Scholar
  53. Palmeira FBL, W Barrella (2007) Conflicts caused by predation on domestic livestock by large cats in quilombola communities in the Atlantic Forest. Biota Neotropical 7 (online). Available from http://www.scielo.br
  54. Peres CA (1996) Population status of white-lipped Tayassu pecari and collared peccaries T. tajacu in hunted and unhunted Amazonian forests. Biological Conservation 77:115–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Pierce BM, Bleich VC, Wehausen JD, Bowyer RT (1999) Migratory patterns of mountain lions: implications for social regulation and conservation. Journal of Mammalogy 80(3):986–992CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Pillar VD, Boldrini II, Hasenack H, Jacques AVA, Both R, Müller SC, Eggers L, Fidelis A, Santos MMG, Oliveira JM, Cerveira J, Blanco C, Joner F, Cordeiro JL, Pinillos Galindo M (2006) Workshop “Estado atual e desafios para a conservação dos campos.” Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil. Available from http://ecoqua.ecologia.ufrgs.br. Accessed 14 July 2007
  57. Quigley HB, Crawshaw PG Jr (1992) A conservation plan for the jaguar Panthera onca in the Pantanal region of Brazil. Biological Conservation 61:149–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rabinowitz AR (1986) Jaguar predation on domestic livestock in Belize. Wildlife Society Bulletin 14:170–174Google Scholar
  59. Rextad E, Burnham KP (1991) User’s guide for interactive program CAPTURE. Abundance estimation of closed animal populations. Colorado State University, BoulderGoogle Scholar
  60. Riley SJ, Malecki RA (2001) A landscape analysis of cougar distribution and abundance in Montana, USA. Environmental Management 28:317–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Robinson JG, Redford KH (1986) Body size, diet, and population density of neotropical forest mammals. American Naturalist 128(5):665–680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Safford HD (1999) Brazilian Páramos I. An introduction to the physical environments and vegetation of the campos de altitude. Journal of Biogeography 26:693–712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schaller GB (1972) The Serengeti lion, a study of predator–prey relations. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  64. Schaller GB (1983) Mammals and their biomass on a Brazilian ranch. Arquivos de Zoologia 31:1–36Google Scholar
  65. Seidensticker J, Sunquist ME, McDougal C (1990) Leopards living at the edge of the Royal Chitwan National Park Nepal. In: Daniel JC, Serrao JS (eds) Conservation in developing countries: problems and prospects. Proceedings of the centenary seminar of the Bombay Natural History Society. Bombay Natural History Society and Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 415–423Google Scholar
  66. Silveira L (2004) Ecologia comparada e conservação da onça-pintada (Panthera onca) e onça-parda (Puma concolor) no cerrado e pantanal. PhD thesis, Universidade de BrasíliaGoogle Scholar
  67. Silver SC, Ostro LET, Marsh LK, Maffei L, Noss AJ, Kelly MJ, Wallace RB, Gómez H, Ayala G (2004) The use of camera traps for estimating jaguar Panthera onca abundance and density using capture/recapture analysis. Oryx 38(2):148–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Smallwood KS, Fitzhugh EL (1993) A rigorous technique for identifying individual mountain lions Felis concolor by their tracks. Biological Conservation 65:51–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Smallwood KS, Schonewald C (1998) Study design and interpretation of mammalian carnivore density estimates. Oecologia 113:474–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Soisalo MK, Cavalcanti SMC (2006) Estimating the density of a jaguar population in the Brazilian Pantanal using camera-traps and capture–recapture sampling in combination with GPS radio-telemetry. Biological Conservation 129:487–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Spalton JA, al Hikmani HM, Willis D, Said ASB (2006) Critically Endangered Arabian leopards Panthera pardus nimr persist in the Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve, Oman. Oryx 40(3):287–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Stickel LF (1954) A comparison of certain methods of measuring ranges of small mammals. Journal of Mammalogy 35:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Taylor VJ, Dunstone N (1996) The exploitation of mammal populations. Chapman & Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  74. Trolle M, Noss AJ, Lima E de S, Dalponte JC (2007) Camera-trap studies of maned wolf density in the Cerrado and the Pantanal of Brazil. Biodiversity and Conservation 16:1197–1204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Wallace RB, Gomez H, Ayala G, Espinoza F (2003) Camera trapping for jaguar (Panthera onca) in the Tuichi Valley, Bolivia. Mastozoologia Neotropical 10:133–139Google Scholar
  76. White GC, Garrot RA (1990) Analysis of wildlife radio-tracking data. Academic Press, San Diego, CAGoogle Scholar
  77. Wiegand T, Moloney KA, Naves J, Knauer F (1999) Finding the missing link between landscape structure and population dynamics: a spatially explicit perspective. American Naturalist 154:605–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Worton BJ (1989) Comparison of several probabilistic home-range models. Journal of Wildlife Management 39:118–123Google Scholar
  79. WWF(Wildlife Fund for Nature) (1996) Forests for life: The WWF/IUCN forest policy book. WWF, Godalming, UKGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Projeto PumaFlorianópolisBrazil

Personalised recommendations