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Relative abundance and activity patterns of terrestrial carnivorous mammals in Península Valdés, Patagonia, Argentina

Romina L. D’Agostino EMAIL logo and Daniel E. Udrizar Sauthier
From the journal Mammalia


The purpose of this study was to assess the relative abundance and activity patterns of terrestrial carnivorous mammals living in San Pablo de Valdés Wildlife Reserve, which is located in Península Valdés (PV), Chubut province, Argentina. To this end, camera traps were placed in different plant communities of this reserve and they were used from January 2015 to December 2016. A total of 256 independent events, with a sampling effort of 1811 camera nights, were obtained. The following species were identified in order of relative abundance: Conepatus chinga, Lycalopex gymnocercus, Leopardus geoffroyi, Puma concolor, and Leopardus colocolo, and the activity patterns of the first three were estimated. Those of P. concolor and L. colocolo could not be estimated as insufficient independent events were obtained. Our results show a cathemeral activity pattern in C. chinga and L. geoffroyi and a more nocturnal pattern in L. gymnocercus. Our results highlight the need to expand the sampling area to obtain further details on the behavioral patterns and population parameters of the carnivores identified. Knowledge of ecological issues, such as relative abundance and activity patterns of carnivorous mammals, is imperative to formulate monitoring and conservation programs.

Corresponding author: Romina L. D’Agostino, Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco, Boulevard Brown 3051, 9120, Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina; and GEMTE – Grupo de Estudio de Mamíferos Terrestres, Instituto Patagónico para el Estudio de los Ecosistemas Continentales, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Boulevard Brown 2915, 9120, Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina, E-mail:

Funding source: PUE 0044-2016

Funding source: IPEEC-CONICET

Funding source: PROPEVA

Funding source: Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia10.13039/100007142

Funding source: Idea Wild

Funding source: PICT 2018-01736

Funding source: Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas(CONICET)


Thanks are due to the Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina (VS), particularly to Mr. Alejandro (Manolo) Arias for his logistical support and to VS Selva Paranaense Office for providing us with camera traps. We are also grateful to the Dirección de Conservación y Áreas Protegidas and to the Dirección de Fauna y Flora Silvestre of Chubut province for issuing work permits in Península Valdés. We are also grateful to the park rangers Rafael Lorenzo, Adrián Pizani, Alexis Inchazú, and Esteban Bremer for their field assistance. Finally, we are also grateful to Certified Translator Viviana Soler for her technical assistance in controlling the use of the English language, to the Associate Editor of Mammalia, Dr. Geraldine Veron, and two anonymous reviewers who greatly improved the previous versions of this manuscript. This work was carried out by the Grupo de Estudio de Mamíferos Terrestres (GEMTE). R.L. D’Agostino was supported by a Ph.D. fellowship from the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) and Chubut province, Argentina.

  1. Author contribution: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: This work was partially financed by PUE 0044-2016 granted to IPEEC-CONICET, by PROPEVA project of the Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco, by Idea Wild and by PICT 2018-01736.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.


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Received: 2019-07-13
Accepted: 2020-06-18
Published Online: 2020-08-19
Published in Print: 2021-01-27

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