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1 April 2007 DIETS OF THREE SPECIES OF ANDEAN CARNIVORES IN HIGH-ALTITUDE DESERTS OF ARGENTINA
R. Susan Walker, Andrés J. Novaro, Pablo Perovic, Rocio Palacios, Emiliano Donadio, Mauro Lucherini, Mónica Pia, María Soledad López
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Abstract

We present the 1st data on the diet of the Andean mountain cat (Leopardus jacobitus), and the 1st on the colocolo (Leopardus colocolo) and the culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus) in high-altitude deserts of northern Argentina, based on fecal analysis. Feces of Andean mountain cats and colocolos were distinguished by DNA analysis. The Andean mountain cat (n = 57) was the most specialized, relying heavily on southern mountain vizcachas (Lagidium viscacia). The colocolo (n = 504) also was specialized, consuming mostly cricetine rodents and tuco-tucos (Ctenomys). The culpeo (n = 399) was a generalist, consuming all prey items that the cats used, and a greater variety of invertebrates. Short-tailed chinchillas (Chinchilla chinchilla) were found in 3 culpeo feces, indicating that this rodent, considered extinct in Argentina, is still present in the wild. Both southern mountain vizcachas and tuco-tucos have a patchy distribution, indicating that very large areas may be required to support populations of the cats that depend on these prey species.

R. Susan Walker, Andrés J. Novaro, Pablo Perovic, Rocio Palacios, Emiliano Donadio, Mauro Lucherini, Mónica Pia, and María Soledad López "DIETS OF THREE SPECIES OF ANDEAN CARNIVORES IN HIGH-ALTITUDE DESERTS OF ARGENTINA," Journal of Mammalogy 88(2), 519-525, (1 April 2007). https://doi.org/10.1644/06-MAMM-A-172R.1
Accepted: 1 September 2006; Published: 1 April 2007
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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