Cavia tschudii is a wild rodent that inhabits Andean and coastal grasslands and wetlands whose ecological aspects have been rarely studied. In this study we describe their daily activity patterns and evaluate the effect of lunar luminosity on their nocturnal activity during the 2019 wet and 2020 dry seasons in a bulrush community of a coastal wetland in Peru. Moreover, we evaluated the activity overlap of C. tschudii with the species that co-occurred with it. Using six camera trap stations and analyzing the dates and times of the recordings, we found that during both seasons C. tschudii was mainly nocturnal, the dogs were cathemeral and Rattus sp. was nocturnal. The activity of C. tschudii had a moderate overlap with the dogs and a high overlap with Rattus sp. During both seasons C. tschudii showed two peaks of activity when the lunar luminosity was 76-100 % and 1-25 %. Likewise, in the dry season, its nocturnal activity had a positive correlation with lunar luminosity. This is the first study that evaluates the daily and lunar activity patterns of C. tschudii under natural conditions. We conclude that the daily activity of C. tschudii is mostly nocturnal during both seasons, but during the dry season the nocturnal activity increases; the highest activity overlap with Rattus sp. suggests a possible competition; and the nocturnal activity of C. tschudii during the dry season suggests that it takes advantage of moonlight to improve its foraging and predator detection.
|Translated title of the contribution||ABSTRACT. DAILY AND MOON ACTIVITY PATTERNS OF Cavia tschudii (RODENTIA) IN A TROPICAL COASTAL WETLAND|
|State||Published - 2022|