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Diversity 2018, 10(1), 7; doi:10.3390/d10010007

Throat Patch Variation in Tayra (Eira barbara) and the Potential for Individual Identification in the Field

Laboratorio de Zoología, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, Campus Juriquilla, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Av. De la Ciencias S/N, Santa Rosa Jáuregui, Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro 76230, Mexico
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Front Royal, VA 22630, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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The importance of identifying individuals of a population has been extensively documented in several species of carnivores, including some species of mustelids. This information is used in many kinds of ecological studies including density estimation, behavioral ecology and analyses of animal movement patterns. The objective of the present study was to determine if individual variation in the throat patches of Tayra (Eira barbara) permits individual identification. We examined 275 specimens from museum collections to determine the morphological variation of the throat patch in Eira barbara specimens collected throughout its distribution. We found differences in the shape and size of the throat patches significant enough to allow discrimination of individuals that display a throat patch (88.0% of 252 complete specimens). The proposed identification criterion was applied to photographic records obtained from a wild population using camera traps in the Peruvian Amazon. From nineteen images (54.0% of all images) in which the throat patch was visible, nine different individuals were identified and two of these were recaptured on multiple occasions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mustelidae; Carnivora; neotropical; Peruvian Amazon; non-invasive survey; camera traps Mustelidae; Carnivora; neotropical; Peruvian Amazon; non-invasive survey; camera traps

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Villafañe-Trujillo, Á.J.; López-González, C.A.; Kolowski, J.M. Throat Patch Variation in Tayra (Eira barbara) and the Potential for Individual Identification in the Field. Diversity 2018, 10, 7.

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