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The bush dog Speothos venaticus: area requirement and habitat use in cultivated lands

  • Edson S. Lima (a1), Maria Luisa S. P. Jorge (a1), Rodrigo S. P. Jorge (a1) and Ronaldo G. Morato (a1)

Abstract

We radio-tracked a pack of bush dogs Speothos venaticus (7–10 individuals) near Água Boa in Mato Grosso, Brazil, for 18 months to investigate their use of habitat in cultivated land. The pack's home range was 709 km2 (fixed-kernel 95%), which exceeds estimates of home range for the largest Neotropical carnivore, the jaguar Panthera onca. Of the 245 locations where the dogs were recorded 95% were within native vegetation (savannah and forest), even though these habitats comprised only 34% of the pack's home range. This indicates a preference for native vegetation, and this was reinforced by composition analysis of habitat use, which showed that the pack used savannah and forest more than expected and cultivated areas less than expected. Analysis of activity showed that the bush dogs were moving quickly in more than half of the locations in cultivated areas, foraging in most savannah locations and resting in most forest locations. Our results indicate that bush dogs can live in areas with a high proportion of cultivated land (66%), possibly because of the structural connectivity of the landscape (80% of the native habitat is within a single patch). However, their home range appears to be inflated compared to that of other carnivores, which may have a negative effect on the species in the long term.

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Corresponding author

(Corresponding author) E-mail malu.jorge@vanderbilt.edu

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The bush dog Speothos venaticus: area requirement and habitat use in cultivated lands

  • Edson S. Lima (a1), Maria Luisa S. P. Jorge (a1), Rodrigo S. P. Jorge (a1) and Ronaldo G. Morato (a1)

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