Is food quality important for carnivores? The case of Puma concolor

in Animal Biology
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Abstract

The composition and energetic content of puma (Puma concolor) diet in Sierra Nanchititla Natural Reserve (SNNR), Mexico, were determined. We collected 183 scats, where 27 components were identified by occurrence (88.07% mammals). The puma's diet was mainly composed of armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus, 40.33%), white-nosed coati (Nasua narica, 11.93%) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus, 6.17%). Energetic analysis of prey indicates that the puma prefers those with higher energetic content (kcal/kg). The prey with the most energetic contribution is armadillo (2398.70 kcal/kg), followed by white-nosed coati (2225.25 kcal/kg) and finally white-tailed deer (2165.52 kcal/kg). The differences in energetic content between prey species were statistically significant. The number of individuals killed/year on average to support a puma was 51 armadillos, 16 white-tailed deer and 7 white-nosed coatis. The results indicate a greater consumption of prey that provide more kilocalories to the predator, and suggests the importance of quality meat in the diet of pumas.

Is food quality important for carnivores? The case of Puma concolor

in Animal Biology

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