|Town/Region||Lihue Calel National Park|
|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||12 Jul 2007|
Because the value of protected areas as habitat of wild cats is usually limited by their size, conservation of wild cats must occur also in human-dominated landscapes. Although cattle production is one of the main components of the economy of many countries, no study has evaluated to date the impact of livestock management on the natural history of a small wild cat. Geoffroy’s cat (Oncifelis geoffroyi) is a small felid distributed from southern Brazil and Bolivia throughout southern Patagonia in Argentina and Chile.
Little is known about this species, recently upgraded to the “near threatened” category due to the impact of human-related habitat changes upon its populations. The paucity of studies on the ecology of Geoffroy’s cat, the lack of studies on its demography, and the total absence of studies on this species outside protected areas make impossible to acurately judge the impact of habitat alteration or human activities on its populations.
This project will examine the effects of cattle management on the ecology and demography of Geoffroy´s cat. We will conduct a suite of surveys both in a protected area (Lihue Calel National Park, central Argentina) and adjacent cattle ranches to compare studied parameters. Radio-telemetry will enable us to compare home range size and habitat selection pattern of radiocollared individuals. Camera trapping will be undertaken to enable sites comparison of cat density.
Also, data from radio-collared individuals and their cubs will be used to determine the causes of mortality and the population annual survival rate. Based on litters found, we will collect for the first time reproductive information (seasonality of birth, mean litter size, sex ratio of litters, and cub age at dispersal) on this species in the wild.
This information is critically needed in our effort to develop a conservation strategy for Geoffroy´s cat in cattle ranches and to feed the population viability analysis we are conducting on our study population.
Read about Javier's previous project http://www.ruffordsmallgrants.org/rsg/Projects/JavierPereira or for more information contact: