The tayra (Eira barbara) is a common and broadly distributed Neotropical carnivore, yet is not well-studied. While this species is apparently associated with forested habitats, it also appears tolerant of some anthropogenic disturbance. We deployed 57 unbaited camera traps (n = 4923 trap-days) in and around a protected area (Furnas do Bom Jesus State Park, São Paulo, Brazil) to survey for tayra and two potentially interactive species: puma (Puma concolor) and free-ranging dogs (Canis familiaris). We used encounter histories generated from photographs and occupancy models to quantify tayra landscape use in the human-dominated landscape composed of the protected area that was near a city and surrounded by agricultural lands dominated by small farms. We fit co-occurrence models to understand whether puma and free-ranging dogs affected landscape use by tayra. We detected tayra at 44% of sites and found that tayra landscape use increased with the proportion of forest cover within 500 m of the sampling site. Other factors predicting tayra landscape use included whether the sampling site was within the protected area, its distance to water, and slope. Dogs, which are common on the periphery of the protected area, seem to have a weak negative effect on tayra landscape use. Because of the concentration of forest within the park, this is an important protected area for the carnivore population within this human-modified landscape. Thus, environmental variables, such as forest cover, distance to water, as well as administrative protection status, are important for understanding local-scale tayra distribution.
Bianchi, Rita; Jenkins, Julianna M. A.; Lesmeister, Damon B.; Gouvea, Jéssica Abonízio; Cesário, Clarice Silva; Fornitano, Larissa; de Oliveira, Mateus Yan; de Morais, Kimberly Danielle Rodrigues; Ribeiro, Renan Lieto Alves; Gompper, Matthew E. 2021. Tayra (Eira barbara) landscape use as a function of cover types, forest protection, and the presence of puma and free‐ranging dogs. Biotropica. 53(6): 1569-1581. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.13005.