Do attacks by jaguars Panthera onca and pumas Puma concolor (Carnivora: Felidae) on livestock correlate with species richness and relative abundance of wild prey?

Albert Burgas, Ronit Amit, Bernat C. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2014, Universidad de Costa Rica. All rights reserved. Attacks by big cats on livestock are one of the major causes of human-felid conflicts and, therefore, an important factor in the conservation of these species. It has been argued that a reduction in natural prey abundance promotes attacks on domestic species, but few studies have tested this statement, and some have delivered contradictory results. We investigated whether the occurrence of attacks to livestock by jaguar and puma relates to the abundance and richness of their natural prey. In the rainy season 2009, we tracked potential prey species counting signs of presence along linear transects in 14 non-attacked cattle farms (control) and in 14 attacked cattle farms in NW Costa Rica. There was a negative relationship between the occurrence of attacks and both species richness (p=0.0014) and abundance (p=0.0012) of natural prey. Our results support the establishment of actions to promote support and recovery of natural prey, in order to diminish attacks on livestock, while maintaining jaguar and puma populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1468
JournalRevista de Biologia Tropical
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Costa Rica
  • Human-wildlife conflicts
  • Jaguar
  • Livestock depredation
  • Prey abundance
  • Puma
  • Species richness

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