Habitat use by mountain vizcachas (Lagidium viscacia Molina, 1782) in the Patagonian steppe

Citation
Rs. Walker et al., Habitat use by mountain vizcachas (Lagidium viscacia Molina, 1782) in the Patagonian steppe, Z SAUGETIER, 65(5), 2000, pp. 293-300
Citations number
23
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences
Journal title
ZEITSCHRIFT FUR SAUGETIERKUNDE-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MAMMALIAN BIOLOGY
ISSN journal
0044-3468 → ACNP
Volume
65
Issue
5
Year of publication
2000
Pages
293 - 300
Database
ISI
SICI code
0044-3468(200010)65:5<293:HUBMV(>2.0.ZU;2-V
Abstract
The mountain vizcacha is a hystricomorph rodent of South America that inhab its rocky cliffs and outcrops in the southern Andes and the Patagonian step pe. We investigated habitat use of the mountain vizcacha in the Patagonian steppe by describing characteristics of the rocky cliffs that are associate d with use by mountain vizcachas and habitat characteristics associated wit h their movements away from the cliffs. Steeper portions of the cliffs were more heavily used than less steep portions. Movements away from the cliffs were strongly associated with the amount of rock present. Habitat use by m ountain vizcachas both on and away from the cliffs appears to be driven by predator avoidance. Mountain vizcachas can probably more easily escape terr estrial predators on a steep slope. They rarely venture away from rocks whi ch may provide a means for escape from both aerial and terrestrial predator s, even when they are away from the cliffs. There is presently very little predation on mountain vizcachas by native raptors and carnivores in this ar ea, and humans are its major predators. The mountain vizcacha's pattern of habitat use, although it may have evolved in response to predation, now mak es it very vulnerable to human predation.