Home-range use by the Central American agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) on Barro Colorado Island, Panama

Enzo R. Aliaga Rossel, Roland W. Kays, José M.V. Fragoso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates the movements and home range of the agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. We captured and tracked 12 agoutis from January to December 2003. Home-range size (95% kernel) ranged from 1.56-2.45 ha (n = 6) for males and 1.34-1.97 ha (n = 5) for females. Agouti ranges overlapped and we estimated a density of approximately 100 agoutis km-2. We compared agouti movement with the locations of refuges and food trees, and the results suggest that the agoutis are central-place foragers. Agoutis moved an average of 850 m d-1 covering approximately 35% of their range daily. These movement data help us understand the potential impacts of agoutis as seed dispersers, predicting that D. punctata will encounter and hoard fallen fruit within 10-200 m (i.e. radius of home range) of its source, and move seeds towards refuges such as ground holes and dense vegetation around recent tree falls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-374
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Tropical Ecology
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agouti
  • Dasyprocta punctata
  • Habitat use
  • Home range
  • Mammal density
  • Predation risk
  • Space use

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