We evaluated the potential for interspecific competition for forage between huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus) and livestock in Los Alerces National Park, Argentina. We studied winter diets based on microhistological analysis of fecal samples. Huemul selected herbs and shrubs, sheep showed preference for herbs and grasses, and cattle selected grasses. As predicted for small-bodied species, huemul had a narrower dietary niche than did larger bodied cattle. Competition for forage would be more likely between huemul and sheep than between huemul and cattle. Our results might be helpful to managers in areas where domestic and wild ungulates live in sympatry in order to reduce competition, especially in wintering areas where food is scarce.
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Vol. 73 • No. 3