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European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 299–304 | Cite as

Space use of a non-native species, the European hare (Lepus europaeus), in habitats of the southern vizcacha (Lagidium viscacia) in Northwestern Patagonia, Argentina

  • G. I. Galende
  • E. Raffaele
Original Paper

Abstract

Two medium-sized herbivores with high trophic overlap coexist on rocky outcrops in the Patagonian landscape: the southern vizcacha (Lagidium viscacia), which is a native rock specialist, and the European hare (Lepus europaeus), which is a non-native species. We determined the patterns of space use related to distance from outcrops and analyzed spatial overlap between the two species. There were significant differences between the two species in the use of space adjacent to outcrops. The southern vizcacha mainly uses short and medium distances from the outcrop (up to 40 m), whereas the hare’s greatest activity was recorded at distances greater than 50 m. However, there is a partial overlap at medium distances (30–40 m) among both herbivores. Although, in general terms, there is no significant spatial overlap between hares and southern vizcachas, their biological characteristics and the high dietary overlap between the species allow us to predict that, if resources become scarce, the hare could extend its area of activity, as what happens elsewhere, and exploit food resources near outcrops, increasing the vulnerability of vizcacha colonies.

Keywords

Spatial use Rocky shelters Predation risk Introduced species 

Notes

Acknowledgment

We wish to thank N. Baccalá and S. Walker for their valuable advise. Two anonymous reviewers made valuable comments on our manuscript. This research was supported by University National of Comahue (grant UNC-B126). E.R. is a member of the National Research Council (CONICET).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bariloche Regional University CenterNational University of ComahueComahueArgentina
  2. 2.Laboratory Ecotono, Bariloche Regional University CenterNational University of ComahueBarilocheArgentina
  3. 3.Department of Zoology Bariloche Regional University CenterNational University of ComahueBarilocheArgentina

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