Home range and habitat use by the pacas (Cuniculus paca) in a montane tropical forest in Bolivia

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We studied the home range and habitat use of paca (Cuniculus paca) in a rural agricultural community in the Alto Beni region, in La Paz department, Bolivia, where game meat is the main source of protein for a large portion of local inhabitants. We captured and radio collared five individual paca (4 females and 1 male), which were followed for six months in 2012 to estimate home range of the individuals and assess their habitat use and selection. The total mean home range (95% Minimum Convex Polygon) was 2.26 ha (SD = 0.80), and ranged from 1.5 to 2.96 ha. The mean female home range (2.04 ha) was smaller than the male´s (2.95 ha). Pacas used two (crops and fallows) of the three available habitats (secondary forest patches), and appeared to positively select crops over the other two. The importance of crops may be linked to the type of agriculture conducted in the area (i.e. mainly cacao in agroforestry systems), which may offer more food and shelter for pacas. Given that, the importance of habitats may change seasonally; this topic should be examined in future studies. Our results suggest that agroforestry systems may be important for the species since they offer a variety of food resources throughout the year.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Amazonica
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)227-236
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.07.2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Ecosystems Research - space use, radio telementry, Alto Beni, cacao, agroforestry