Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Diet of brown-nosed coatis and crab-eating raccoons from a mosaic landscape with exotic plantations in southern Brazil.

Abstract

We described the diets of two procyonids, the brown-nosed coati Nasua nasua and the crab-eating raccoon Procyon cancrivorus, through analysis of stomach contents of road-killed specimens in southern Brazil. We compared them with previously published dietary information for another syntopic mesopredator, the crab-eating fox Cerdocyon thous. The landscape of the study area includes native grasslands, forests, exotic tree plantations, and other crops. Food items were represented by frequency of occurrence (FO) and relative volume (RV). Stomach contents of 23 coatis were analyzed. Animal and plant items were equally frequent, although the volume of plants was greater. Exotic plant species were consumed more than native plants. Among prey items, invertebrates were more important than vertebrates, mainly because of the frequency of coleopterans and annelids and the volume of necrophagous dipteran larvae. Five specimens of raccoons were analyzed, in which animal items had the highest FO and plant items had the highest RV. Both invertebrate and vertebrate prey had the same FO, although vertebrates had a higher RV. Our data suggest that these procyonids are opportunistic hypocarnivores, utilizing anthropic sources, with diet overlap. The coatis also overlapped their diet substantially with the foxes. The stomach-contents analysis revealed the importance of fruit pulp biomass, soft-bodied animals such as larvae, and also soil, which might indicate feeding habits such as scavenging and geophagy.