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Scrapes as a communication tool in the largest Neotropical felids

Scrapes as a communication tool in the largest Neotropical felids

Details of how, why and in what conditions large felids make scrapes is unknown. Here, the general hypothesis about the use of scrapes for marking proposals, as well as to communicate with other individuals to signalize particular points or areas of interest were examined by studying scrape-marking behaviour of jaguars and pumas. Scrapes were surveyed during dry season in five study areas from Mexico (El Edén and San Ignacio), Belize (Cockscomb) and Brazil (Angatuba and Serra das Almas), which differed in presence and/or abundance of jaguars and pumas. A total of 269 felid scrapes were found along 467 km of paths surveyed, obtaining a finding rate of 0.576 scrapes per km. In trails, scrapes were found in a similar frequency in the centre and edge, whereas in car tracks they were mainly found in the edge. Scrapes were located mainly in the centre in areas only with pumas, in the centre and in the edge in areas with a similar number of jaguars and pumas, and in the edge in area mainly dominated by jaguars. Felids chose sites mainly covered by leaves and located in paths less wide, clean and rarely used. Scrapes seem to be signalizing some specific areas within territories and data suggest that they are made with the proposal of communication between individuals. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Palomares et al (2018) Scraping marking behaviour of the largest Neotropical felids. PeerJ 6:e498; DOI 10.7717/peerj.4983


https://peerj.com/articles/4983/