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Assessing the abundance, density, and monitoring the populations of the smaller felids in critical habitats of Brazil: Amazon, Cerrado, Caatinga, Atlantic Rainforest, Pampas. Some of these are the first densities obtained worldwide.


(Sources: Ludlow and Sunquist 1987; Emmons 1988; Jacob 2002; Dillon 2005; Maffei et al. 2005; Cuellar et al. 2006; Di Bitetti et al. 2006; Moreno et al. 2006; Oliveira et al. 2010, 2011)

  • Our work is leading us to an ever-increasing knowledge of the density patterns found in the medium and small sized cats of Brazil. In the book chapter “Ocelot ecology and its effect on the small-felid guild in the lowland Neotropics” from the book Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids (Oxford University Press, 2010) and some other papers we have shown that the larger ocelot attains higher densities than the smaller cats. Ocelot densities are typically on average 0.3 individuals/km2 (0.01–1/km2), whereas the tropical species of the smaller cats (< 6 kg), at their highest densities reach 0.25/km2, and are typically found below 0.15/km2, most likely on the range of 0.01–0.05/km2 or lower. This is the typical pattern of jaguarundis, margays, northern and southern tiger cats.

  • Another interesting fact is that we usually manage to estimate densities of the smaller cats almost only where ocelots are either rare or absent – see “ocelot effect”


Densities of small cats from tropical America: jaguarundis, margays, northern and southern tiger cats. These are all densities where ocelots are absent or rare. In most areas where ocelots are abundant, small cats' densities should be smaller than the lower values presented here.

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