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Radio-tracking observations on ranging and foraging patterns by kinkajous (Potos flavus) in French Guiana

  • Didier Julien-Laferriere (a1)

Two kinkajous (Potos flavus) were equipped with radio-transmitters and tracked during a 14- and a 7-day period in a primary forest of French Guiana. Both individuals were strictly nocturnal. They moved between food patches (flowering or fruiting trees) during c. 65% of the night, visited food trees during c. 20%, while the remaining time was devoted to rest. Rest time tended to peak in the middle of the night, whereas distances travelled peaked at the beginning and the end of the night. Minimum and maximum home range areas, estimated from minimum area and minimum convex polygon methods respectively, reached 15.7 and 17.6 ha in the female, 26.6 and 39.5 ha in the male. Mean daily activity area amounted to 5.5 ha in the female, 11.3 ha in the male. Distances travelled in a night averaged 1495 m for the female, 2540 m for the male. In contrast to the female, the male used the periphery more intensively than the centre of its home range. Both individuals occupied several roosts located in the canopy, but one far more frequently than the others. The male's roosts were all situated in the periphery of the home range.

Kinkajous were observed feeding on flowers or fruits of 15 plant species. Among the 10 species exploited for fruits, at least seven were dispersed. Dispersal distances averaged 200 ± 75 m (13 seed dispersal occurrences for 16 defecations), while seed transit time varied from 45 min to 3 h 35 min. P. flavus appears to be nocturnal, solitary, a generalist fruit and flower-eater and an important seed dispersal agent.

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Journal of Tropical Ecology
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  • EISSN: 1469-7831
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