Density and activity patterns of ocelots in the greater lacandona ecosystem

J. Antonio de la Torre, Paulina Arroyo-Gerala, Leonora Torres-Knoop


The ocelot is the third largest cat that occurs in Mexico.  Despite all the information that has been collected regarding its distribution in the country, little is known about its basic ecology in Mexico.  In this study we estimated density of ocelots and their activity patterns for the Greater Lacandona Ecosystem region.  Data were obtained through camera traps.  We used 33 camera trap stations that were active during 60 consecutive days.  The effective sampling effort was 1920.  Density estimate was analyzed through Bayesian Spatial Explicit Capture and Recapture Models.  In addition, the activity pattern of ocelots was determined by the time recorded of all photographs obtained.  We estimated a minimal density of 12.9 ± 5.39 ocelots for each100 km² for the southern Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve.  According with the photographic records we identified that ocelots were active both day and night.  Our results are similar to those obtained in other areas located in the tropical rain forests of Central America obtained with the classic capture recapture methods.  In addition, this study shows the potential of this preserved area for maintaining long-term population of ocelots in the tropical rain forest of the Greater Lacandona Ecosystem.  More information about this species needs to be obtained, especially for regions characterized by habitat fragmentation and human perturbation.

Palabras clave

abundance; camera traps; Leopardus pardali; SPACECAP; activity.

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