Abstract

Segregation of the daily activity patterns is considered and important mechanism facilitating the coexistance of competing species. Here, we evaluated if temporal separation existed among jaguar (Panthera onca), puma (Puma concolor) and ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and if their activity patterns were related to that of a particular prey. We used camera trap records to estimate the activity schedules of these predators and their prey. We used the coefficient of overlapping (Δ; ranging from 0 to 1) to quantify the temporal interactions between predators and prey, and calculated confidence intervals from bootstrap samples. Strong temporal overlap occurred among the three felids (Δ = 0.63 - 0.82) in both dry and rainforests. However, a greater temporal separation was observed between the closest competitors (jaguar and puma, puma and ocelot). Jaguar and puma had a strong temporal overlap with medium and large-sized prey, while ocelots’ activity matched that of small-sized prey. High overlapping coefficients among the felids suggest that temporal segregation is not the main mechanism facilitating their coexistence in these areas. However, fine-scale or spatiotemporal differences in their activity patterns might contribute to their coexistence in tropical environments.