Ecological patterns of the sympatric ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) have not been documented, so little is known about the coexistence or avoidance of these endangered felines. I began a field project at Los Ebanos Ranch, Tamaulipas, northeast Mexico in 1991 to assess home range size, habitat use, and activity patterns of ocelots and jaguarundis. I captured 21 jaguarundis (13 M; 8 F) and 22 ocelots (9 M; 13 F). A VHF radiocollar was attached to each cat to assess their movements. Locate II and Locate III and ArcView 3.3 (Animal Extensions) computer programs were used to evaluate home range size (95% Fixed Kernel and 95% Minimum Convex Polygon), core areas size (50% Fixed Kernel and 50% Minimum Convex Polygon), and activity patterns. Habitat use relative to availability was assessed for both feline species using the Neu et al. (1974) test. Mean home range size (FK95) for male and female ocelots was 15.1 and 8.5 km², respectively. Mean home range size (FK95) of male and female jaguarundis was 16.2 and 12.1 km², respectively. Home ranges of both felids overlapped, however core areas had little overlap. Ocelots were predominantly nocturnal (75% nocturnal activity versus 25% diurnal), whereas jaguarundis were predominantly diurnal (15% nocturnal activity versus 85% diurnal). Ocelots used tropical sub-deciduous forest (82%) more intensively than open habitats (18%) available in their home ranges, while jaguarundis used tropical sub-deciduous forest (48%) and pasture-grassland (52%) with similar intensities. Tropical sub-deciduous forest was the preferred habitat for both species. Although home ranges of both felids overlapped, I found that core areas slightly overlapped and jaguarundis maintained a mean distance of >2 km from ocelots suggesting spatial avoidance of jaguarundis and ocelots in the study area.
October 1, 2013
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