Life and dinner under the shared umbrella: patterns in felid and primate communities.
Burnham D., Hinks AE., Macdonald DW.
Sympatry between primates and felids is potentially relevant to both their behavioural ecology and their conservation. This paper briefly introduces felids and primates, for the purposes of assessing their interrelationships and the patterns in their spatial congruence using IUCN spatial data. First, we review evidence and opportunity for predator-prey interactions between the felids and primates. Second, we analyse the overlap between species of the two taxa to reveal the potential of particular felid species or guilds (unique combinations of 2 or more felids) to act as umbrellas for the conservation of co-occurring primates. Felid guilds vary in terms of their geographical ranges and numbers of members. Some felid species overlap the ranges of many primate species, and the most speciose felid guilds, while geographically limited in distribution, have the potential to act as protective umbrellas to large numbers of primate species. This prompts the hypothesis that threatened primates and felids are facing similar threats and might thus benefit from similar interventions, which is evaluated in a sister paper by Macdonald et al. in this special issue.