Behaviour 2019
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Overlap on activity patterns among mid-size predators in a semiarid region of Mexico
Miguel A. Armella1, Lourdes Yanez-Lopez2, M. Asuncion Soto-Alvarez1, Miguel A. Toriz1, Roberto Baez-Prada1. 1Biology Dept. Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Iztapalapa, Ciudad de México, Mexico; 2Biotechnology Dept Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Iztapalapa, Ciudad de México, Mexico


Activity patterns (hours of activity) of sympatric species at the same hours are indicative of competition between species while overlapping activity hours are considered evidence of coexistence especially when species belong to species within the same guild.  In the semiarid region of central Mexico, as in many other areas, the defaunation of big predators, such as Cougar (Puma concolor), has resulted in the rise of mid-size predators as the main influence on the structure of food chains. We studied activity patterns of several mid-size predators like Coyote (Canis latrans), ring-tail-cat (Bassariscus astutus), and gray fox (Urocyon cinereusargenteus), using trail cameras in two localities of southcentral Mexico one with xeric shrubland and another with deciduous forest. Our main results show that species have different activity patterns. Coyote is the largest species of the group and is the only one with both daily and nightly activity in both localities. Gray fox uses a wider variety of food items and shows early evening hours activity, while ringtail uses later, darker, hours. We conclude that behavior plays a main role in community structure.