Spatial overlap between domestic cats and wild felines in an insular Atlantic Forest remnant

in Animal Biology
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Anthropogenic changes are a major threat to biodiversity. One of these possible changes that affect biodiversity is the introduction of domestic species in the environment, which might represent a threat to wild species. The domestic cat, in particular, has biological and behavioral characteristics that allow a great adaptability to natural areas, thus representing a potential risk to the native species, mainly to the other members of the Felidae family. In this study, the spatial overlap between four species of Neotropical wildcats and domestic cats living in an Atlantic Forest Protected Area in one of the most important forest remnants of this ecosystem was verified. The results indicate the need to adopt mitigation measures against the potential risks of this interaction with the goal of preserving the native species.

Spatial overlap between domestic cats and wild felines in an insular Atlantic Forest remnant

in Animal Biology



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  • View in gallery

    Location of the study area, the Environmental Protection Area of Ilha Comprida (EPAIC). (A) location of the State of São Paulo (SP), Brazil; (B) the area corresponding to EPAIC (shaded in grey); (C) location of the study area, with emphasis on the phytophysiognomies of the region, the area of anthropic occupation, transects used for data collection and the location of the camera traps, respectively, represented for the 2009/2010 and 2013 sampling periods.

  • View in gallery

    Resultsobtained in two years of monitoring in the southern region of the Environmental Protection Area of Ilha Comprida. On the left are data for domestic cats, containing the total number of location points, the location points (radio telemetry and sightings), number of the feces location points collected, records by camera traps (both domestic cats and wild cats), for the latter, the number of traces (footprints); Records of predation on domestic or wild animals, direct sightings recorded in the field and the total number of records obtained for wild felines (on the right).

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    Overlapping points between the area of use of domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) and wild cats (Puma concolor, P. yagouaroundi, Leopardus pardalis and L. guttulus) in the Environmental Protection Area of Ilha Comprida, São Paulo, Brazil. (For pumas, footprint records at very close points were observed on different dates. These points appear to be overlapping in the figure: the third black circle, counting from below, inside the polygon located on the right of the figure.)

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    Information on how many wildcat observations occurred inside and outside of the distribution areas of domestic cats and the type of record made. The information is also separated by species and divided by sampled locality (“Balsa” and “Praia”).


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