Puma (Puma concolor) predation on tapir (Tapirus terrestris)


  • Fernando Cesar Cascelli Azevedo Universidade Federal de São João del-Rei, Departamento de Ciências Naturais
  • Vagner Canuto Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul
  • Fernanda Souza Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Cynthia Elisa Widmer Independent Scholar


predation, Puma concolor, scavenging, Tapirus terrestris


The process of forest fragmentation affects mostly top predators, which are more prone to first disappear. Pumas, Puma concolor, are known to have a generalist diet that includes a wide variety of wild and domestic prey species. The capacity of adapting their diet to consuming prey in anthropogenic habitats may be the reason for this species' success in incorporating anthropogenic areas with different levels of fragmentation as part of its habitat. Here we report a case of puma consumption of a large wild prey species, the tapir, Tapirus terrestris. From March 2012 to October 2013 we collected 85 puma's scats opportunistically inside fragments of the Atlantic Forest in the Parana state, Brazil. In one of the scats we found hairs and some hooves of a tapir, as well as puma hairs. We propose two hypotheses that may explain the occurrence of tapir in a pumás scat: (1) an event of scavenging or (2) an event of predation on a juvenile tapir. The most likely explanation for this event may be the predation of a juvenile in response to a possible abundant presence of tapirs in the study area. This event adds to our understanding of the great plasticity of this species to adapt to an altered landscape. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a puma scavenging or predation event on a tapir.




How to Cite

Azevedo, F. C. C., Canuto, V., Souza, F., & Widmer, C. E. (2016). Puma (Puma concolor) predation on tapir (Tapirus terrestris). Biota Neotropica, 16(1). Retrieved from //www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/1359



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