THE ROLE OF FENCING AND OTHER ANTHROPOGENIC STRUCTURES IN PUMA (PUMA CONCOLOR) FEEDING ECOLOGY
|Jacob A Harvey; Institute for Wildlife Studies, True Wild LLC; firstname.lastname@example.org; Quinton Martins, David Garcelon|
We investigated puma (Puma concolor) diet with GPS clusters (≥4 points within 100m in 24-hour period; ≥1 nighttime location) of 10 pumas throughout the North Bay study area. Diet as determined by frequency of occurrence at 164 clusters was primarily black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus), and livestock (goats [Capra aegagrus hircus] and sheep [Ovis aries]) at 55% and 23%, respectively. The North Bay is a complex of urban, semi-urban, agricultural, and natural areas with most puma home ranges encompassing over 10,000 private land parcels. We measured the distance of clusters to the nearest fence to determine if fencing, which is prolific in the area, is used as a hunting advantage for pumas. Anthropocentric structures have been reported as an impediment to the ability of prey to escape predation, and may be disproportionately used by predators as advantageous hunting habitat. We overlaid 10,000 random GPS points on a parcel map to obtain a baseline distribution to the nearest fence. Cluster locations were added, and Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests were completed to analyze if fences influence puma cluster locations. Results of this study will promote a further understanding of puma ecology at an urban interface and can be used to help mitigate human-wildlife conflict.