Puma density, habitat use and conflict with humans in the Argentine Chaco

Verónica A. Quiroga, Andrew J. Noss, Agustín Paviolo, Gabriel I. Boaglio, Mario S. Di Bitetti

The puma Puma concolor is the most widely distributed felid in the Americas. Although it utilizes humanmodified landscapes, its extensive territorial requirements,trophic needs, and real or perceived threats to livestock render the puma susceptible to conflict with humans. Our objectives were to evaluate the population density, habitat use, and puma-human conflict in the Argentine Chaco. We conducted camera-trap surveys and interviews over a three-year period, atthree sites with differentlevels of legal protection and with different ranch outpost and livestock densities: Copo National Park (1204 trap days, 24 stations, 17 interviews, national park, lowest ranch/livestock density), Aborigen Reserve (1993 trap days, 29 stations, 13 interviews, indigenous reserve, medium ranch/livestock density) and El Cantor (2129 trap days, 35 stations, 11 interviews, no protection, highest ranch/livestock density).