Jaguar Social Project

The Jaguar Social Project tested a management model for the jaguar – cattle rancher conflict in the Pantanal. Eleven properties participated in the project, where ranchers were financially compensated for the loss of cattle.

The jaguar has a history of causing damage to cattle herds in the Pantanal. However, few alternatives to solve this conflict seem to be applicable in a region of this extension and of difficult access like the Pantanal. In 2002 the Jaguar Conservation Fund created the Jaguar Social Project in an attempt to address this issue.

The Project was a pioneer experiment in Brazil, established with the objective to evaluate the economic and social impact of cattle predation by jaguars and pumas in the region of Pantanal of Rio Negro, Miranda e Aquidauana. Eleven properties were partners in the project, covering an area of 280,514 ha with a total of 55,000 head of cattle. During this partnership, the Jaguar Social Project financially compensated ranchers for cattle proven to be lost to jaguar or puma predation. In exchange, ranchers agreed to not kill jaguars under any circumstance on their property.

As part of this project in collaboration with the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, and later UNIDERP (University for Development of Mato Grosso do Sul state and the Pantanal), workers on partner farms received free medical and dental assistance during scheduled campaigns on the properties. Campaigns were preventive and diagnostic. Emergencies or cases that were logistically impossible to attend were sent to the closest hospital.

During the project a total of 100 cattle were proven to be taken by large cats, for which ranchers were compensated. In total, over the four campaigns in 2002, 2003 and 2004, medical assistance was provided to 242 people. The project had positive results, indicating that this management approach of the conflict between jaguars and cattle ranchers is viable on a local scale.

Read more about this topic:

Silveira, L., Boulhosa, R., Astete, S., and Jácomo, A. T. A. 2008. Management of Domestic Livestock Predation by Jaguars in Brazil. Cat News Special Issue 4, 26-30.

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