Caracal (Caracal caracal) diet in southern Africa has primarily been quantified in protected areas dominated by natural vegetation. Here we present data on the diet of caracal ranging in two coastal landscapes (George and Vleesbaai, South Africa) with considerable anthropogenic modification (pine plantation and agricultural land). In terms of the corrected frequency of occurrence (CFO), rodents dominated the diet (>70%) and the vlei rat (Otomys irroratus) formed the bulk in terms of volume of the rodents recorded in the diet at both sites.
Large carnivores perform keystone ecological functions through direct predation, or indirectly, through food subsidies to scavengers or trophic cascades driven by their influence on the distributions of their prey. Pumas (Puma concolor) are an elusive, cryptic species difficult to study and little is known about their inter-trophic-level interactions in natural communities. Using new GPS technology, we discovered that pumas in Patagonia provided 232 ± 31 kg of edible meat/month/100 km2 to near-threatened Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) and other members of a diverse scavenger community.
India’s phenomenal economic growth over the last decade has been accompanied by a much-needed expansion and improvement in transport and other infrastructure networks. While there are legally mandated assessments of the potential ecological impacts of such infrastructure projects prior to implementation, rarely are there post-implementation assessments of their real ecological impacts.
Accurate information about the diet of large carnivores that are elusive and inhabit inaccessible terrain, is required to properly design conservation strategies. Predation on livestock and retaliatory killing of predators have become serious issues throughout the range of the snow leopard. Several feeding ecology studies of snow leopards have been conducted using classical approaches. These techniques have inherent limitations in their ability to properly identify both snow leopard feces and prey taxa.
Large carnivores pose a particular challenge in wildlife management. Their importance in ecosystem function is increasingly well documented, while at the same time their potential for conflict with humans is high, resulting in often divergent public opinion and management objectives. Carnivores are widely hunted for recreation, population control, and to reduce conflict, both direct and indirect with humans. In Montana and western North America, mountain lion populations increased and expanded their range during the 1990s.
We studied survival and causes of mortality of radiocollared cougars (Puma concolor) on the Greater Yellowstone Northern Range (GYNR) prior to (1987–1994) and after wolf (Canis lupus) reintroduction (1998–2005) and evaluated temporal, spatial, and environmental factors that explain variation in adult, subadult, and kitten survival. Using Program MARK and multimodel inference, we modeled cougar survival based on demographic status, season, and landscape attributes.
Until recently, large apex consumers were ubiquitous across the globe and had been for millions of years. The loss of these animals may be humankind’s most pervasive influence on nature. Although such losses are widely viewed as an ethical and aesthetic problem, recent research reveals extensive cascading effects of their disappearance in marine, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems worldwide.
Interactions between humans and cougars have been steadily increasing over the past 20 years largely due to human encroachment into cougar habitat and an increase in the human population. We determined the attitudes, knowledge, and perceptions toward cougars by residents in the urban-rural fringe of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We found an overall positive attitude toward the presence of cougars in the area. However, residents indicated a low level of knowledge concerning regional wildlife management and wished to be more directly involved.
Pumas have the largest geographic range of any terrestrial mammal in the Americas. Despite this large distribution, pumas are a species of conservation concern and believed in decline across much of their range. Research in North America suggests that dispersal is critical in maintaining connectivity of increasingly fragmented puma populations. Puma dispersal maintains genetic diversity across the landscape and is essential in revitalizing small populations and recolonizing habitats in which local populations have become extinct (i.e., source-sink dynamics).
In Western North America, many rural areas are being converted to ranchette style residential development, potentially degrading habitat for large carnivores including pumas, and impacting ecosystem integrity. In a rapidly developing rural region of the Sierra Nevada, I studied the impacts of low-density development on puma habitat utility, behavioral ecology, mortality, and viability. I characterized properties experiencing puma depredation, a major cause of puma mortality in the study region, and compared attributes of properties that had, and had not, experienced depredation.