Predation on cattle by the endangered jaguar (Panthera onca) can be a serious ecological and economic conflict. We investigated habitat characteristics of kill sites of cattle in Sonora, Mexico, from 1999 to 2004 to see whether habitat management or cattle distribution could be used as effective nonlethal methods to limit predation. Kill-sites were positively associated with oak, semitropical thornscrub, and xeric thornscrub vegetation types, whereas they were negatively associated with upland mesquite. Sites of cattle kills were also positively associated with proximity to permanent water sources and roads. A model including these relationships fi t kill locations well (AUC = 0.933) and correctly classified 93% of all kill-site locations. Because kill-sites were associated with specific habitat attributes, management practices that alter cattle distribution, such as placement of permanent water sources in uplands, herding, and fencing riparian areas characterized by frequent depredations, can be used to minimize co-occurrence of jaguars and cattle and, thus, potentially limit predation without illegal killing of jaguars. These practices could also lead to more uniform use of pastures and, consequently, higher stocking rates, resulting in increased profitability to landowners. Managing habitat attributes that predispose cattle to predation may provide a viable alternative for maintaining both livestock enterprises and a large endangered carnivore in areas of conflict.
Rosas-Rosas, Octavio C.; Bender, Louis C.; and Valdez, Raul
"Habitat Correlates of Jaguar Kill-Sites of Cattle in Northeastern Sonora, Mexico,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 4
, Article 13.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol4/iss1/13