Comparative ecology and conservation of the jaguar and puma in the Cerrado and Pantanal

The Project compared habitat use, diet, home range and activity patterns between jaguars and pumas in several study areas in the Cerrado and Pantanal.

This study occurred in Emas National Park, Cantão State Park, the Cerrado-Pantanal corridor in Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso state, and in the Pantanal of Rio Negro, with the main objective of comparing the ecology of jaguars and pumas regarding home range, habitat use, diet and activity pattern, using camera trapping radio telemetry and analyses of feces.

According to the results, the jaguar showed a crepuscular-nocturnal activity pattern, preferred forest and cerrado habitat and consumed principally large prey species. The species was highly sensitive to human disturbance, and its persistence in the study areas is directly related to the persistence and abundance of its main prey species. The puma showed to be more tolerant of human activities, occurring more abundantly in the study areas and using the different habitat types more similarly to their availability than the jaguar. The species also showed a crepuscular-nocturnal activity pattern; however, it tended to be more nocturnal than the jaguar. Regarding diet, the puma principally preyed on smaller species than the jaguar.

Both species cause negative impacts on cattle herds. In the Pantanal, the jaguar is the bigger problem, while in the Cerrado, in the surroundings of Emas National Park, the puma is responsible for the larger portion of cattle depredation. Both species depend on natural connections between protected areas to maintain genetically viable populations.

Read more about this topic:

Silveira, L. 2004. Comparative ecology of the jaguar (Panthera onca) and puma (Puma concolor) in the Cerrado and Pantanal. Ph.D. thesis, University of Brasília, Brasília, Brazil. 240p (in Portuguese).

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