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Revista de biología marina y oceanografía

versión On-line ISSN 0718-1957

Resumen

CORDOVA, Olivia; RAU, Jaime R; SUAZO, Cristián G  y  ARRIAGADA, Aldo. Comparative study of the feeding ecology of the top predator Lontra felina (Molina, 1782) (Carnivore: Mustelidae) in Chile. Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. [online]. 2009, vol.44, n.2, pp.429-438. ISSN 0718-1957.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-19572009000200016.

Lontra felina, commonly known as 'chungungo', inhabits the southeastern Pacific Ocean, along exposed rocky coastlines. This mustelid species is native to Chile and Peru, and is considered as 'endangered' at all its distribution range. This study analyzed and compared: a) the diet of L. felina from six locations between 24º40'S and 48º50'S with the prey categories described in the literature; b) diversity on prey's categories on the same locations. Furthermore, diversity and diet overlaps indices were calculated to summarize the information regarding richness, abundance and relative use of preys by L. felina (trophic niche breath).Crustaceans were the most consumed preys, followed by fish and, to a lower extend, mollusks. A latitudinal pattern was found regarding prey consumption by L. felina. Maximum values were found in the central-south latitudes and minimum values in the septentrional and meridional extreme of the studied gradient. L. felina is an important feline predator of benthic invertebrates and exhibits a feeding pattern characterized by a higher trophic diversity in the south-central area of the Chilean coast.

Palabras clave : Diet; trophic ecology; mustelid; sea otter; latitudinal variation.

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