We radio-tracked five red-rumped agoutis (Dasyprocta leporina) for two to nine months each at the Estação Ecológica Ilha de Maracá in the northern Brazilian Amazon. Agoutis fed primarily on seeds and pulp but also ate cotyledons, leaves, flowers, and invertebrates. Three plant species made up 63 percent of the feeding observations. Home range size varied from 3 to 8.5 ha. High-use areas and home range boundaries shifted from the season of high fruit availability to the season of low fruit availability as different individual trees became the focus of feeding activities. Agoutis foraged preferentially within conspecific patches of preferred fruit species and concentrated their feeding and scatterhoarding activities near individual fruiting trees. These results suggest that agoutis, as extremely short-distance seed dispersers, may contribute to the aggregated dispersion pattern of large-seeded tropical forest trees.
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Vol. 35 • No. 1