In this study, we first developed habitat selection models at the scale of the home range (second order selection) that include factors jaguars are known or suspected to respond to:
1) human presence(Conde et al. 2010, De Angelo et al. 2011);
2) livestock presence(Zarco-González et al. 2013, Carvalho et al. 2015);
3)forest coverage(De Angelo et al. 2011, Morato et al. 2014);
4)water(De Angelo et 812 al. 2011), and;
5) roads (Colchero et al. 2011, De Angelo et al. 2013).
Second, we 813 developed habitat selection models within the home range (third and fourth order selection)using the same habitat covariates. We had two main objectives:
1) to quantify the spatial functional response, and; 2) to identify limiting factors at home range and foraging scales. In both cases, we used a full model with individual and study site as random effect to examine how the habitat selection coefficients changed as a function of resource availability either at coarse or fine scale. Due to limited data available we did not account for seasonal variation in the resource availability or space use (Cavalcanti and Gese 2009).
Specifically, at home range scale; we expect a negative functional response to human presence with jaguars avoiding contact with humans in areas with high human population density, while showing indifference in areas with low human population density. We also expect a negative functional response to water and forest coverage for jaguars inhabiting arid areas, e.g., resource selection will increase despite the low availability of these resources. Road is expected to exert a negative response on jaguars. Finally, we expect a positive functional response to livestock presence with higher encounter rates as a function of high livestock density.
At home range scale we expect human population density to be the limiting factor for jaguars’ selection, while at fine scale (foraging) we expect jaguars’ selection of forest coverage to be the most important.
We confirmed that jaguars negatively respond to human presence while the species, in general, selected areas with high percentage of forest coverage (Figure 1 and 2), however it is important to mention that response varied between individuals and study site. We did not find any trend of species’ response to livestock density, distance to roads and distance to rivers(Figure 3). In general, we observed a functional response since changes in the landscape structure resultedin changes in the use of specific habitat by the species. Also we observed differences between individuals at the same study site.
At home range scale human population density is the main limiting factor for the species’ habitat selection followed by forest coverage (Table 1). At foraging scale forest coverage was identified as the main limiting factor (Figure 4). This result reinforces the ideia that the hierarchy of a habitat selection for an individual of any species should reflect the hierarchy of factors limiting an individual’s fitness