Cougars and foxes in Chile, new research

This 2017 video from Ecuador is called Andean Fox (Culpeo)!

From Virginia Tech university in the USA:

What does the fox say to a puma?

Predators form an unusual coexistence in the central Chilean Andes

November 13, 2020

Summary: Researchers have found that in the Chilean Andes, two predator species — the puma and the culpeo fox — can successfully share a landscape and hunt for food over the same nighttime hours because they are, in essence, ordering from different menus.

In the high plains of the central Chilean Andes, an ecosystem consisting of only a few animal species is providing researchers with new insights into how predators coexist in the wild.

“The puma and the culpeo fox are the only top predators on the landscape in the Chilean Andes,” said Professor Marcella Kelly, of the College of Natural Resources and Environment. “And there isn’t a wide range of prey species, in part because the guanacos [closely related to llamas] aren’t typically found in these areas anymore due to over-hunting. With such a simplified ecosystem, we thought we could really nail down how two rival predators interact.”

Kelly worked with Christian Osorio, a doctoral student in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, and researchers from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile to chart the locations of and potential interactions between pumas and foxes in central Chile. They focused on three axes of interaction: spatial (where the animals are on the landscape), temporal (the timing of specific activities on a given landscape), and dietary (what each species is eating).

To understand the interplay between pumas and foxes, researchers deployed 50 camera stations across two sites in central Chile, one in the Rio Los Cipreses National Reserve and another on private land where cattle and horses are raised. They also collected scat samples at both locations to analyze the diets of pumas and foxes.

The team’s findings, published in the journal Diversity, showed that while pumas and foxes overlapped significantly where they lived and what time they were active, there was little overlap in what they were eating, with the puma diet consisting primarily of a large hare species introduced from Europe, while the culpeo foxes favored smaller rabbits, rodents, and seeds. The two predator species can successfully share a landscape and hunt for food over the same nighttime hours because they are, in essence, ordering from different menus.

“It is likely that foxes have realized that when they try to hunt hares, they might run into trouble with pumas,” Osorio explained. “If they are hunting smaller mammals, the pumas don’t care, but if the foxes start targeting larger prey, the pumas will react.”

How predator species interact is a crucial question for ecologists trying to understand the dynamics that inform ecosystem balances. And while the puma has been designated a species of least concern, the animal’s populations are declining and continue to be monitored by conservationists.

“Least concern does not mean no concern,” Osorio noted. “We have laws in Chile that protect the species, but the data we have to make a conservation designation are very scattered. As we accumulate more consistent and reliable data, the puma may be reclassified as vulnerable or even endangered.”

The hares that comprise approximately 70 percent of the biomass in the puma’s diet are a nonnative species, introduced to the area by European settlers. With guanacos absent from the landscape, the puma has had to adapt its diet to survive.

With some land managers and conservationists campaigning for the removal of the introduced hare species as a way to restore the area’s native ecosystem, Kelly and Osorio note that it is important to understand that pumas would be significantly impacted by a reduction in their primary food source.

A further concern, which the two are currently researching, is the interplay between wildlife and humans. The national reserve increasingly sees visitors eager to witness big cats and foxes in their natural environment, while the sheep and cattle industries are increasingly using remote terrain for livestock cultivation.

“Pumas do occasionally kill livestock, which is a challenge we’re looking into right now,” said Kelly, an affiliate of Virginia Tech’s Fralin Life Sciences Institute. “The government would like to preserve the puma, but there are competing challenges of what kind of threat they pose to livestock and what kind of threat cattle or sheep farming poses to them.”

Understanding how two predatory species can come to coexist has the potential to provide conservationists and ecologists with better ideas for how humans and wild animals can share a landscape.

Lioness corners leopard

This 27 June 2020 video from Kenya says about itself:

A young leopard, the son of a famous leopard named Fig, was cornered by a lioness from an unknown pride. The leopard managed to get away with its life when the lion got bored with messing with it.

Filmed with Gamewatchers safaris India and Porini camps.

Jaguarundi cats, video

This 19 May 2020 video says about itself:

This week in the latest of the wild cats of the Amazon, we’re talking about the jaguarundi. These cats may look like they’re in the weasel family, but they’re not!

Special thanks to the San Miguelito Jaguar Conservation Ranch and WWF-Peru for sharing this footage with us. …

And shout out to our writer and biologist Romi Castagnino, who hosted, produced and shot this video!

COVID-19 kills dog, infects cats

This 29 April 2020 NBC TV video from the USA says about itself:

Pug In North Carolina Tests Positive For Coronavirus, May Be First Dog In U.S. | NBC Nightly News

The McLeans were part of an ongoing Duke University study testing households to learn about the virus. When three of them found out they were positive for COVID-19, they weren’t surprised when researchers told them their dog, Winston, had it too.

COVID-19 has killed a dog, an American bulldog, and has infected three cats.

All these animals lived at a fur business in the Netherlands, where caged minks had been infected earlier.

The Dutch government, reacting to this, has said that people who may be infected with coronavirus should not pet dogs or cats. It may infect the animals.

Pangolins, cats and COVID-19

This 2012 video is about pangolins.

Mammals known as scaly anteaters are natural hosts of coronaviruses, but are not likely the direct source of the recent outbreak in humans, according to a study published May 14 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Jinping Chen of the Guangdong Institute of Applied Biological Resources, and colleagues. As noted by the authors, the large-scale surveillance of coronaviruses in these animals, called pangolins, could improve our understanding of the spectrum of coronaviruses circulating in the wild, and could help prevent and control emerging infectious diseases: here.

In a study published today (May 13, 2020) in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists in the U.S. and Japan report that in the laboratory, cats can readily become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and may be able to pass the virus to other cats: here.

If you think you may have coronavirus, then don’t pet your cat or dog. You may infect them, the Dutch government says.

As China upgrades pangolins to the highest protected status level, an alternative approach to using long-standing forensic methods is helping wildlife crime investigators disrupt poachers and animal traffickers in an effort to bring them to justice: here.

Cheetah, vultures and lion in South Africa

This 28 April 2020 video from South Africa says about itself:

Cheetah kill at Sabi Sabi… with a twist…

An absolutely incredible weekend here at Sabi Sabi with alarm calls coming from the open area in front of Bush Lodge. We scanned the area and noticed a cheetah in the open area so we dashed off to find that he had managed to take down an impala.

Looking a bit nervous, as cheetahs do before eating, he eventually got going and dug into his kill. Soon after, the vultures started gathering in enormous numbers. Trying to fight off the vultures, the cheetah eventually got spooked and bolted away. The vultures dived in with no hesitation and not even a minute later, a young male lion came rushing in, chasing off the vultures and claiming the rest of the kill for himself. He dragged it off into some thick area where he finished it off.

We managed to catch up with the cheetah who moved a little way away and decided to rest after all the commotion.

Cougar cats of the Americas

This 31 March 2020 video says about itself:

Puma or cougar? Candid Animal Cam takes you to the Americas to meet this wild cat

Did you know that the puma (or the mountain lion, cougar or Florida panther) is the animal with the most names? That’s right, there are 80 different names for the animal from the Puma genus. This week, we’re talking about the different sub-species of puma found across the Americas.

Special thanks to the San Miguelito Jaguar Conservation Ranch, WWF-Peru and Sean M. McHugh for sharing this footage with us. Every Tuesday, Mongabay will bring you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, so subscribe and hit the bell icon to make sure you never miss a camera trap video again!

And shout out to our writer and biologist Romi Castagnino, who hosted, produced and shot this video!

Clouded leopard cubs in India, video

This 25 February 2020 video says about itself:

Clouded Leopard Cubs Grow Up | India’s Wild Leopards

In his quest to document India’s most elusive cat species, photographer and filmmaker Sandesh Kadur follows a pair of orphaned clouded leopards as they learn the skills they’ll need to survive in the wild.

Iberian lynx video

This January 2020 video from Spain says about itself:

The Iberian lynx is found in the Mediterranean forest and thickets, in very restricted areas of the Iberian Peninsula. In Spain in very few areas, well preserved and isolated from human activity, while in Portugal it seems to have become extinct. This type of habitat provides shelter and open pastures for hunting rabbits, which account for 90% of their diet. In most cases, the Iberian lynx lives in a solitary and nomadic way, and is very territorial, showing itself more sociable during the mating season.