Araguaia - Jaguar Corridor Project
In Central Brazil, the biggest threat to the jaguar is its isolation into small, fragmented populations. This project intends to create a dispersal corridor connecting jaguar populations residing along the Araguaia River.
Throughout its range, the jaguar is threatened by the conversion of its natural habitat into agricultural and pasture lands. While the Amazon River basin is considered to be a refuge for the species, the Cerrado is the opposite, as 80% of its area is modified by human activity and only 1.6% has protected status. Jaguar populations in this biome have become increasingly smaller and more isolated, and their persistence depends on protecting and establishing corridors that connect these populations.
The Araguaia River is such a potential corridor. Its source is located close to Emas National Park, one of the last refuges for jaguars in the Cerrado. Other protected areas along the river are also potential refuges for jaguars, as the species’ presence has been confirmed along most of the river’s 2,000-km (1,242 mile) reach.
Through interviews, camera traps and scat detector dogs, the Araguaia – Jaguar Corridor project, which is part of the Araguaia River Biodiversity Corridor Project, has been collecting information on the presence of the jaguar along the Araguaia River. Matching this data with environmental variables, the project will model the distribution of the species throughout the region. GPS collars will be put on jaguars for studying the home range and landscape use by the species. The project also aims to identify the extent of conflict between the jaguar and ranchers along the corridor. The results will be used to implement a functional corridor for the jaguar along the Araguaia River in order to establish and protect a critical area to preserve the species in central Brazil.
ZANIN, M. Distribuição da onça-pintada ao longo de uma paisagem antropizada: implicações para o manejo e conservação da espécie. Master’s Degree Thesis, Universidade Federal de Goiás. Started in 2008.