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Lucherini, M.; Luengos Vidal, E.
Intraguild Competition as a Potential Factor Affecting the Conservation of Two Endangered Cats in Argentina
2003  Endangered Species UPDATE (20): 211-220

Although the kodkod, _Oncifelis guigna_, and Andean Mountain cat, _Oreailurus jacobita_, are the two cats in most immediate danger of extinction in Latin America, information on these felids is very scarce. As part of our effort to understand their current distribution, we collected data on the carnivore guild composition of these two small felids from 1998 to 2002. Sign search, in combination to genetic analysis of scat samples, enabled us to record the presence of the Andean Mountain cat, the similarsized Pampas cat, _Oncifelis colocolo_, and the Culpeo fox, _Pseudalopex culpaeus_, at a site located at the high-altitude Argentina Andes. At this site, the abundance of _O. colocolo _and _P. culpaeus _appears greater than that of _O. jacobita_. At another site located at the Patagonia Mountain forest in Argentina, the kodkod, the slightly larger Geoffroy's cat, _Oncifelis geoffroyi_, and the Culpeo fox were live trapped. The population abundance of the kodkod in the more competitive guild of Argentina seems lower than what has been previously reported for the species in Chile. We suggest that intraguild competition may be an important factor affecting the present conservation status of the Andean Mountain cat and kodkod, and stress the need of a guild approach to the conservation of these endangered small carnivores.

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