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Ecología austral

versión On-line ISSN 1667-782X


GUIDOBONO, Juan S. et al. Food habits of Geoffroy's cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) in agroecosystem habitats of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Ecol. austral [online]. 2016, vol.26, n.1, pp.40-50. ISSN 1667-782X.

Geoffroy's cat (Leopardus geoffroyi), a small wild cat of South America, showed in the last years a decline in population abundance mainly related to both habitat destruction and hunting. The increasing human population densities and the consequent demand for food and natural resources will rapidly erode and fragment its remaining habitats. In Argentina most studies about Geoffroy's cat diet have been conducted in protected areas or in their surroundings, while there are no studies conducted in purely agricultural systems. We described the diet composition of Leopardus geoffroyi and its seasonal variations in an agricultural ecosystem to contribute knowledge of its ecology and natural history. The study was carried out from spring 2008 to spring 2011. A total of 494 scats were analyzed and at least 695 prey-items were identified. The diet included 81.58% of mammal prey, representing 93.32% of the potential biomass ingested. Within mammals, the principal prey were rodents, representing 79.57% of the total prey items and 59.39% of the total potential biomass consumed. Small rodents account for a great proportion of prey items, while larger species, as the caviid Cavia aperea, contributed more biomass. The diet plasticity may enhance the persistence of Geoffroy's cat populations in variable and anthropized ecosystems.

Palabras clave : Small wild cats; Diet; Mammal prey; Agricultural ecosystems.

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