The diet of caracal Caracal caracal in two areas of t - PDF document

The diet of caracal Caracal caracal  in two areas of t
The diet of caracal Caracal caracal  in two areas of t

The diet of caracal Caracal caracal in two areas of t - Description


SA Received 2 April 2012 Accepted 10 September 2012 Caracal Caracal caracal diet in southern Africa has primarily been quantified in protected areas dominated by natural vegetation Here we present data on the diet of caracal ranging in two coastal ID: 65274 Download Pdf

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Conservancy).IntheGeorgeregion,thedominantnaturalvegetationonthemountainslopesofthecoastalstripisSouthernAfrotemperateForestandSouthOuteniquaSandstoneFynbos(Mucina&Rutherford2006).Thenaturalvegetationishoweverinterspersedwithextensivepineplantationsandrangeland,mainlyforcattle(BostaurusVleesbaaisiteisdominatedbyCancaLimestoneFynbos,GrootBrakDuneStrandveldandpatchesofSouthernCoastalForest(Mucina&Rutherford2006).Theformerisusedasrangelandbuthasalsobeenextensivelytransformedforcroplandandpastureland,mainlyforsheep(Ovisaries)andCaracalscatswerecollectedopportunisticallybythefirstandthirdauthorwhilehikingalongroadsandtracksinforest,plantationandpasturesinGeorge(May2008toSeptember2009).IntheVleesbaairegionscatswerecollectedbythethirdauthoralonghikingtrailsincoastalforest,pasturesanddunestrandveld(June2009toSeptember2010).WemainlyusedthecriteriaofNorton.(1986)andOttetal.(2007)toidentifyscats(mmscatdiameter)butalsousedtracks(Meletal.2004)andcamera-trapphotographstoconfirmtheoriginofscats.WeusedthelaboratoryprocedureofMartinsetal.(2011)toanalysescats.MacroscopicremainswereremovedfromeachscatandcomparedwithanosteologicalcollectionwhilehairsweremicroscopicallyexaminedandcomparedtoreferencematerialsourcedfromtheAmatholeMuseum,KingWilliam’sTown,andtopublishedkeys(Perrin&Campbell1979;Keogh1983)andtheunpublishedkeyoftheAfricanCentreofEcology,NelsonMandelaMetropolitanUniversity.Wecouldnotidentifybirdstospecieslevelandsimplygroupedthemas‘Aves’.MammalNomenclaturefollowsSkinner&Foreachsite,weusedEstimateSsoftware(Colwell,2009)todetermineifpreyspeciesrichnessreachedanasymptoteforthecollectedscats.112South African Journal of Wildlife Research Vol. 42, No. 2, October 2012 Fig.1.Mapsofthetwostudylocalities.Vegetationisclassedintobroadunitsforcomparativepurposesandadetailedvegetation map is available in Mucina & Rutherford (2006). Herewepresentthefrequencyofoccurrence(FO)andtherelativeoccurrence(RO)forcomparisonwithpreviousstudies.Asthequantityofmeateatenperspeciesdecreaseswiththenumberofspeciesperscat,wealsopresentthecorrectedfrequencyofoccurrence(CFO;Karanth&Sunquist1995).TheCFOisobtainedbycountingeachpreyitemperscatasaproportionofthenumberofitemsinthatscat(0.5iftwopreyRESULTSWecollected102caracalscatsintheGeorgesiteand40intheVleesbaaisite.AnalysisofsamplingeffectivenesssuggestedanasymptotewasreachedforGeorgebutnotforVleesbaai(Fig.2).Werecorded15mammalspeciesinthedietacrossbothsites(George=10;Vleesbaai=10)andanumberofunidentifiedbirdsinGeorge(Table1).Rodentscomprisedmostofthedietatbothsites(George,CFO=72.1%;Vleesbaai,CFO=79.3%).InGeorge,ungulatesformedthenextmostcommonpreygroup(CFO=15.4%),butungulatescomprisedalowproportionofthedietinVleesbaai(CFO=2.5%).InVleesbaai,smallcarnivoresformedthenexthighestproportionofthedietafterrodents(CFO=11.6%)andthiscategorywasalsoimportant in George (CFO = 5.4%).Atthespecieslevel,thevleirat(Otomysirroratus)formedthebulkofthedietatbothsites(George,CFO=69.6%;Vleesbaai,CFO=66.7%;Table1).InGeorge,thiswasfollowedbybushbuckTragelaphusscriptus;CFO=11.4%)anddomesticcat(Feliscatus;CFO=4.1%),whileatVlees-baaithemutli-mammatemouse(Mastomysnata-;CFO=8.8%)wasthenextmostabundantprey,followedbytheCapegreymongooseGalerellapulverulenta;CFO=8.3%).Scrubhares(Lepussaxatilis)werealsorecordedatVleesbaai(CFO=4.6%)butwerenotrecordedinSimilartopreviousstudies(e.g.etal2004);mammalsdominatedthedietofcaracalatbothoursites.Aswefoundtoo,rodentshavebeenshowntobethedominantpreyinseveralstudies(Palmer&Fairall1988;Stuart&Hickman1991;Avenant&Nel2002;Melvilleetal.,2004)butoflowimportanceinothers(Grobler1981;Moolman1984).Inourstudy,rodentsdominatedthedietofcaracalatbothsites,andourresultsareintheorderofsomeofthehighestreportedfrequenciesofrodentsinthedietofcaracal(seealsoAvenant&Nel2002;Mukherjeeetal.2004).Oftherodents,thevleiratwasthemostimportantprey,formingthebulkofthedietatbothsites(CFO�65%).Caracalareconsideredgeneralistandopportunistfeeders(Avenant&duPlessis2008)andtheimportanceofthisspeciesincaracaldietisprobablyrelatedtoitshighabundanceinbothsites,although this was not quantified.InGeorge,bushbuckconstitutedanimportantpreyitem,butwasnotrecordedinthedietatVleesbaai.ThisprobablyreflectstherelativelyhighabundanceofbushbuckintheforestsoftheGeorgeregion,comparedtotheirrelativelylowabundanceinthemoreopenfynbosandtransformedvegetationoftheVleesbaairegion(Braczkowskietal.2012).Althoughthecaracal’suseofbushbuckwasconsiderablylowerthanthatrecordedforleopardinGeorge(11.4%58.3%CFO;Braczkowskietal.2012)theoccurrenceofthisspeciesintheirscatsreaffirmsthe : Diet of caracal in the southern Cape113 Fig.2.SamplingefficiencycurvesderivedfromEstimateSforcaracalscatsfromtheGeorge(diamonds;=102)and 114South African Journal of Wildlife Research Vol. 42, No. 2, October 2012Table1.PreyofcaracalinGeorgeandVleesbaai.=numberofsamples. SpeciesnameGeorge(=102)Vleesbaai(=40) %Frequencyof%Corrected%Relative%Frequencyof%Corrected%RelativeoccurrencefrequencyoccurrenceoccurrencefrequencyoccurrenceVleirat,Otomysirroratus79.469.665.380.066.757.1Stripedmouse,Rhabdomyspumilio3.92.03.27.53.85.4Woodlanddoormouse,Graphiurusmurinus1.00.50.8Multi-mammatemouse,Mastomysnatalensis10.08.87.1Bushbuck,Tragelaphusscriptus12.811.410.5Blueduiker,Philantombamonticola2.02.01.6Potamochoeruslarvatus2.02.01.6Capegrysbuck,Raphicerusmelanotis2.52.51.8CarnivoresDomesticcat,Feliscatus7.84.16.55.02.53.6Capegreymongoose,Galerellapulverulenta2.01.31.517.58.312.5Largespottedgenet,Genettatigrina2.50.81.8OthermammalsPapiohamadrayas1.01.00.8Scrubhare,Lepussaxatilis10.04.67.1Rockhyrax,Procaviacapensis2.50.81.8Round-earedelephantshrew,Macroscelidesproboscideus2.51.21.8 Aves9.86.18.1 buitedieBergkwaggaNasionalePark.MUKHERJEE,S.,GOYAL,S.P.,JOHNSINGH,A.J.T.&LEITEPITMAN,M.R.P.2004.Theimportanceofrodentsinthedietofjunglecat(Felischaus),caracalCaracalcaracal)andgoldenjackal(Canisaureus)inSariskaTigerReserve,Rajasthan,India.J.Zool.262:405–411.MUCINA,L.&RUTHERFORD,M.C.2006.ThevegetationofSouthAfrica,LesothoandSwaziland.19.SouthAfricanNationalBiodiversityInstitute,Pretoria, South Africa.NORTON,P.M.,LAWSON,A.B.,HENLEY,S.R.&AVERY,G.1986.Preyofleopardsinfourmountainousareasofthesouth-westernCapeProvince.S.Afr.J.Wildl.Res.16:47–52.NOWELL,K.&JACKSON,P.1996.Wildcats:astatus,surveyandconservationactionplan.IUCN/SpeciesSurvival Commission Cat Specialist Group, Gland.OTT,T.,KERLEY,G.I.H.&BOSHOFF,A.F.2007.Preliminaryobservationsonthedietofleopards(Panthera)fromaconservationareaandadjacentrangelandsintheBaviaanskloofregion,SouthAfrica.J.Afr.Zool.42:31–37.PALMER,R.&FAIRALL,N.1988.CaracalandAfricanwildcatdietintheKarooNationalParkandtheimplicationsthereofforhyrax.S.Afr.J.Wildl.Res.PERRIN,M.R.&CAMPBELL,B.S.1980.KeytothemammalsoftheAndriesVoslooKudureserve(EasternCape),basedontheirhairmorphology,foruseinpredatorscatanalysis.S.Afr.J.Wildl.Res.10:RÜHE,F.,BURMESTER,T.&KSINSIK,M.2007.DataforestimatingeatenpreymassesfromEurasianlynxLynxlynxscatsinCentralandEastEurope.Theriol.52:317–322.SKINNER,J.D.&CHIMIMBA,C.T.2005.ThemammalsofthesouthernAfricansubregion,3rdedn.Cambridge University Press, Cape Town.STUART,C.T.&HICKMAN,G.C.1991.PreyofcaracalFeliscaracalintwoareasofCapeProvince,SouthAfrica.J.Afr.Zool.105:373–381.VANHEEZIK,Y.M.&SEDDON,P.J.1998.RangesizeandhabitatuseofanadultmalecaracalinnorthernSaudi Arabia.J.Arid.Environ.40:109–112.VANZYL,D.2003.SouthAfricanweatherandatmospheric phenomena.Briza Publications, Pretoria.116South African Journal of Wildlife Research Vol. 42, No. 2, October 2012Corresponding Editor:M.J.Somers

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