Ecology and Conservation of the Jaguar in the Emas National Park Region

Collecting data on population dynamics, ecology and epidemiology of the species, this project’s main objective is to monitor the jaguar population of Emas National Park in the long term.

The jaguar population in Emas National Park, has been monitored by the researchers at the Jaguar Conservation Fund since 1994. Emas National Park is located in the Cerrado biome and is 1,320 square kilometers of protected area. 95% of the park is open space and grasslands. The entire park is surrounded by large farms of soy beans, corn, cotton and sugar cane. The park is one of the last refuges for the jaguar in this type of grassland environment. The park has the last protected population of jaguars in the region. The principal threat to the jaguars in Emas National Park is the isolation of the population and whether a genetically viable population can be maintained on a long-term basis.

There are some fragments of grasslands around Emas National Park, principally in the region around the mouthwaters of the Araguaia river. The Araguaia river is a potential corridor that can link the jaguars of Emas National Park to larger jaguar populations to the north of Emas National Park. Little is known about how the jaguars of Emas use the Araguaia river corridor and other areas surrounding the park. This project involves understanding the ecology, demographics and use of the areas around Emas National Park to better understand how to conserve the jaguar population in Emas National Park for the long-term.

The estimated jaguar population in Emas National Park is 30 jaguars. Through the use of camera traps, the jaguar population is being monitored. Jaguar scat is collected with the help of hounds trained in scat detection. The scat collected helps to understand information about the diet, genetics, and health of the jaguar population. Five jaguars have been captured and given a radio-collar. Additional jaguars will be captured to receive a radio-collar with a GPS unit. Through these methods we hope to learn more about the jaguar’s use of the area around the park. Strategies to maintain and conserve the landscape around the park can then be developed based on the data collected.

Associated Theses:

Sollmann, R. Ecology and Conservation of the Jaguar in the Cerrado of central Brazil. Ph.D. thesis, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, University of Berlin. Start: April 2007.

Furtado, M. Epidemiologic relationship between populations of jaguars (Panthera onça) and domestic animals in three Brazilian biomes: Cerrado, Pantanal and Amazon. Ph.D. thesis, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. Start: July 2006.

Read more about this topic:

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