Abundance of mesocarnivores in two vegetation types in the southeastern region of Mexico

Alejandro Hernández-Sánchez, Antonio Santos-Moreno, Gabriela Pérez-Irineo

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    5 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Copyright © 2017 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. Mesocarnivores play an important ecological role in terrestrial communities. However, there is little information on the abundance of most of these species, which is essential for establishing conservation strategies. The aim of this study was to estimate the population density and temporal variation of species of mesocarnivores in two types of vegetation in southeastern Mexico, and to evaluate the relationship between abundance of each species with vegetation characteristics, human presence, predators, and prey. Using camera traps, we sampled from July 2014-June 2015 and estimated density through the random encounters model, obtaining 640 independent records of 11 species of mesocarnivores. Density in all species did not differ significantly between seasons, although Conepatus semistriatus, Leopardus pardalis, Leopardus wiedii, and Mustela frenata showed significant differences between vegetation types and were present in high densities. We found a positive relationship between abundance of C. semistriatus and Eira barbara with the presence of L. pardalis, but found a negative relationship between E. barbara and human presence. Presence of prey positively affected abundance of L. pardalis and L. wiedii. Density for most mesocarnivores differed from the range known for regions with similar environments. However, estimates for C. semistriatus, E. barbara, M. frenata, and Galictis vittata represent the first approximations of this parameter in Mexico. The high densities that we encountered for some species considered at risk by Mexican law may be due to the good condition of the cloud forest in this region.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Pages (from-to)101-108
    Number of pages90
    JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017

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