International Society For Endangered Cats

A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World

News From The Field: Do Ocelots Use Riparian Corridors?

Wild cats can’t be saved without knowing what they need to survive in their natural habitat. What kind of habitat do they use? What are their activity patterns & social organizations? Without data collected by field biologists, conservation programs can’t be put in place. To further our educational efforts, we are posting regular Monday summaries of a paper written by wild cat field biologists, which briefly outlines their findings.

Remote camera trapping (RCT), although successfully used to estimate the abundance and density of ocelots Leopardus pardalis in continuous neotropical forests, has not been used to study habitat use and movements by ocelots in fragments landscapes. Using RCT, we examinded ocelot abundance and movement in 14 riparian corridors that were semi-connected or fully connected to forest fragments and compared them with five riparian corridors located inside continuous forest sites. We found that the relative abundance of ocelots was higher in continuous forest sites, followed by connected and semi-connected corridors. These patterns of abundance, combined with two events of individual ocelot movement along riparian corridors highlight the important of forest connectivity in fragmented landscapes but the conservation of ocelots and other wildlife.

Fernanda Michalski, Darren Norris and Jean Paul Metzger

IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group Cat News newsletter

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