Brazilian Journal of Biology ()

High consumption of primates by pumas and ocelots in a remnant of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

  • JL Santos,
  • AMO Paschoal,
  • RL Massara,
  • AG Chiarello

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 74, no. 3
pp. 632 – 641


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We studied the diet of the ocelot and puma during the years 2007 and 2008 at the Feliciano Miguel Abdala Reserve, in Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil. We collected 49 faecal samples (scats) from cats, and identified the species of cat from 23 of them by the analysis of the microstructure patterns of hairs found in their faeces: 17 scats of the puma (Puma concolor) and six of the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis). In the puma scats, we identified three species of primates (Brachyteles hypoxanthus, Alouatta guariba and Sapajus nigritus), the remains of which were found in eight of 17 collected (47.1%), representing 26.7% of items consumed. For the ocelot, we detected capuchin monkey (S. nigritus) remains in three of the six scats (50%), accounting for 18.7% of items consumed by ocelot. We were unable to identify the cat species in the remaining 26 faecal samples, but we were able to analyse the food items present. Primates were found in five of these 26 faeces (19.2%) and represented 10.2% of the items found. Although the sample size is limited, our results indicate a relatively high consumption of primates by felines. We believe that this high predation may be the result of the high local density of primates as well as the greater exposure to the risks of predation in fragmented landscapes, which tends to increase the incidence of the primates using the ground.