Spatio-temporal ecology of sympatric felids on Borneo. Evidence for resource partitioning?
Hearn AJ., Cushman SA., Ross J., Goossens B., Hunter LTB., Macdonald DW.
Niche differentiation, the partitioning of resources along one or more axes of a species' niche hyper-volume, is widely recognised as an important mechanism for sympatric species to reduce interspecific competition and predation risk, and thus facilitate co-existence. Resource partitioning may be facilitated by behavioural differentiation along three main niche dimensions: habitat, food and time. In this study, we investigate the extent to which these mechanisms can explain the coexistence of an assemblage of five sympatric felids in Borneo. Using multi-scale logistic regression, we show that Bornean felids exhibit differences in both their broad and fine-scale habitat use. We calculate temporal activity patterns and overlap between these species, and present evidence for temporal separation within this felid guild. Lastly, we conducted an all-subsets logistic regression to predict the occurrence of each felid species as a function of the co-occurrence of a large number of other species and showed that Bornean felids co-occurred with a range of other species, some of which could be candidate prey. Our study reveals apparent resource partitioning within the Bornean felid assemblage, operating along all three niche dimension axes. These results provide new insights into the ecology of these species and the broader community in which they live and also provide important information for conservation planning for this guild of predators.