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8 September 2017 Populations and Activity Patterns of Clouded Leopards and Marbled Cats in Dampa Tiger Reserve, India
Priya Singh, David W. Macdonald
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Abstract

The rapidly declining tropical forests of Asia support a diversity of felid species, many of which are rare and little known. We used camera traps in Dampa Tiger Reserve (TR), Mizoram, northeastern India, to estimate population density and describe activity patterns of 2 rare felids, the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) and marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata). With a survey effort of 4,962 trap nights, we obtained 84 photo-captures of clouded leopards and 36 of marbled cats. We used spatially explicit capture-recapture methods to estimate population densities of both species. Using the Bayesian approach implemented in SPACECAP, we derived estimates of 5.14 (± 1.80 SD)/100 km2 for clouded leopards and 5.03 (± 2.07 SD)/100 km2 for marbled cats. Using cameratrap images, we compared diel activity patterns and activity overlaps for these 2 rare felids, together with 3 other sympatric carnivores, by estimating a coefficient of overlap between species. Among felids, clouded leopards and golden cats (Catopuma temminckii) displayed the highest overlap in activity, whereas marbled cats and leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) showed the lowest, with marbled cats being primarily diurnal and leopard cats nocturnal. Our study provides the first density estimates from continental Southeast Asia for marbled cats and one of the highest recorded densities for clouded leopards. These results are of special significance since Dampa sustains an ecosystem that has in recent times undergone near extirpation of large predators.

© 2017 American Society of Mammalogists, www.mammalogy.org
Priya Singh and David W. Macdonald "Populations and Activity Patterns of Clouded Leopards and Marbled Cats in Dampa Tiger Reserve, India," Journal of Mammalogy 98(5), 1453-1462, (8 September 2017). https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyx104
Received: 12 May 2016; Accepted: 31 July 2017; Published: 8 September 2017
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