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Response of a small felid of conservation concern to habitat fragmentation

Fleschutz, Mira, Gálvez, Nicolás, Pe'er, Guy, Davies, Zoe G., Henle, Klaus, Schuttler, Elke (2016) Response of a small felid of conservation concern to habitat fragmentation. Biodiversity and Conservation, 25 (8). pp. 1447-1463. ISSN 0960-3115. (doi:10.1007/s10531-016-1118-6) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-016-1118-6

Abstract

Habitat loss and fragmentation are major drivers of biodiversity loss. A key question, particularly relevant to carnivore conservation, is to which extent species are able to survive in human-modified landscapes. Currently, conservationists are concerned about the impact habitat fragmentation may have on the long-term persistence of the forestdwelling guin˜a (Leopardus guigna), given the increasingly modified landscapes in which they live. Here we evaluate the effect habitat cover, fragmentation and anthropogenic pressure have on the occupancy probability for guin˜as in privately-owned forest fragments. We collected camera-trap data from 100 temperate rainforest sites in Chile and used singleseason occupancy modeling to evaluate the influence of 13 parameters of landscape structure/anthropogenic pressure and four parameters of detection probability on the ocurrence of guin˜as. The camera-trap survey data comprised 4168 camera-trap days and 112 independent records of guin˜as. Surprisingly, fragmented (defined as having a high perimeter-to-area ratio) and moderately sized habitat patches best predicted site occupancy. Occupancy also increased where habitat patches were closer to continuous forest and nearer to buildings. Our results imply that guin˜as can benefit from a high degree of edge type habitats in fragmented landscapes, capable of adapting to habitat fragmentation in the proximity to large continuous forest patches. This suggests that guin˜as have a broader niche than previously believed. Additionally, the guin˜a is tolerant of human infrastructure. Further research is required to identify potential ecological traps, long-term

source-sink dynamics, and the habitat loss/fragmentation threshold beyond which guin˜a populations are no longer viable.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s10531-016-1118-6
Uncontrolled keywords: Camera traps;Chilean temperate rainforest;Edge effects;Forest specialist;Habitat loss;Leopardus guigna;Occupancy
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Q Science
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Zoe Davies
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2016 21:37 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2019 09:03 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/56808 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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