Análise do comportamento de filopatria e dispersão em felinos, com ênfase em Puma concolor com o uso de ferramentas moleculares
Oliveira, Marina Elisa de
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Among species of polygamous mammal it is expected that almost all males will disperse, acting as the main responsible for the connectivity between populations; on the other hand, females will show greater tendency to philopatry and will be responsible for the stability and local population growth. This behavioral asymmetry results in greater kinship among females than among males in the same area. However, anthropic interferences may alter species behavior and affect the persistence of populations. In order to understand better the occurrence and causes of sex-biased philopatry in felines, we first conducted a systematic literature review on the subject and subsequently a case study of Puma concolor through molecular tools. We found the pattern described for polygamous mammals for most of the species included in the review, except for three species of the genus Lynx. As expected, anthropogenic influences (hunting, habitat fragmentation, and the existence of barriers, mainly roads) can alter the patterns of philopatry and dispersal. The observed behavioral variation between populations and species seems to be due to the context in which the population is inserted (anthropic and natural variables) and the behavioral plasticity of each species. Populations were studied mainly with radiotelemetry and molecular tools, however we detected that few studies are comparable between species and even between populations of the same species. A more detailed description of the study areas could facilitate comparison between studies, at least in relation to the context the population is inserted. Regarding the species P. concolor, studies consistently point to greater male dispersal and female philopatry. Through the noninvasive sampling (feces) of individuals within conservation units, in a fragmented area and in a continuous area, as well as the sampling of roadkilled individuals, we were able to delineate patterns of intrasexual kinship in each sampling scheme. The highest mean values of kinship were observed between males and between females of the fragmented area, indicating greater female philopatry and probable frustrated male dispersal due to fragmentation and the existence of roads as barriers. More males than females were sampled as roadkills, corroborating greater male dispersal tendency and consequent mortality. This is the first evidence of frustrated dispersal in a Brazilian population, also demonstrating the potential of genetic analysis and non-invasive sampling for the study of population dynamics.