Population density, activity pattern and habitat use of the ocelot Leopardus pardalis in an Atlantic Forest protected area, Southeastern Brazil.
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Department of Ecology, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rua São Francisco Xavier, no 524, Pavilhão Haroldo Lisboa da Cunha, 2 andar, sala 224, Bairro Maracanã, CEP: 20550-900, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Zentrum für Naturkunde, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Deutschland
Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA
Wildlife Laboratory, Embrapa Pantanal, Rua 21 de Setembro,n° 1.880, Bairro Nossa Senhora de Fátima,CEP:79320-900. Corumbá, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
Online publication date: 2019-09-10
Publication date: 2019-09-10
Corresponding author
Atilla Colombo Ferreguetti   

Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2019;30(2):120-125
The ocelot Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus, 1758) is a nocturnal opportunistic felid that has a wide geographic distribution in almost every American continent. Although this species is classified as Least Concern, its populations have been declining as a direct consequence of the destruction of their habitats. Information on the density, occupancy and factors influencing habitat use of ocelots is of great importance for the establishment of action plans aimed for conservation. We studied ocelots in a protected area of the Atlantic Forest, Vale Natural Reserve, state of Espírito Santo, Brazil. We estimated density, characterized activity patterns, and evaluated how habitat use was influenced by six covariates. Estimated density (Mean±SE; 45.84±5.45 ocelots per 100 km2) was higher than other areas studied within the Atlantic Forest. Ocelots were more active during twilight and night than other times of day (between 1330 and 2030 h and 2330 and 0400 h). The probability of occupancy was influenced by distance to the closest water resources (negatively), canopy cover, distance to the edge and number of prey (all three positively influenced), and the detectability was negatively influenced by distance from a water resource. Our data reinforce the importance of VNR as an important reservoir of the species. Therefore, the results presented herein can be a starting point to support future action plans for the species, making predictions regarding the ecosystem and management and conservation of the ocelot by using tools such as Population Viability Analysis. Furthermore, the results can be used as a surrogate for other regions in which the species occurs, because many locations may be affected by the same covariates used herein.
We are very grateful to Vale Natural Reserve for their support and for allowing the field work for this research. HGB thanks FAPERJ (E26/201.267/2014; E-26/202.757/2017), CNPq (307781/2014-3; 306585/2018-9) and Prociência-UERJ for research and productivity grants. This study was financed by the Research Program in Biodiversity Mata Atlântica (CNPq/MCTIC - 457458/2012-7). This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior -- Brasil (CAPES) -- Finance Code 001. We also want to thank the reviewers for the considerations to improve this paper.
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