Ecology and Conservation of the Jaguar in the Serra da Capivara and Serra das Confusões National Parks

In the semiarid Caatinga biome, information about jaguars is extremely sparse. This project aims at studying the ecology, demography and epidemiology in this region.

The Project has been taking place in the Serra da Capivara and Serra das Confusões National Parks since 2007. Together, these parks protect 6,560 km² of the Caatinga. The two parks are approximately 40 km (25 miles) apart, and are close to several communities, where subsistence farming is the main human activity, fragmenting the local landscape. Subsistence hunting, which results in competition for prey species, is believed to be the largest threat to jaguar populations in this region.

Information about the jaguar in the Caatinga is extremely sparse. The objective of this project is to study the species’ ecology, and identify and monitor the conservation status of the jaguar populations in the study region. Using camera traps and scat detector dogs, data is collected non-invasively. Estimated at 267 individuals/100km² (Silveira et al, in press), the jaguar population identified in 2007 in a camera trap survey in Serra da Capivara National Park, seems to be one of the most representative for this region. The species shows an exclusively nocturnal activity pattern, probably due to high daytime temperatures. Through capturing and GPS-collaring jaguars, it will be possible to investigate the species’ home range, as well as its use of natural and anthropogenic habitat. While the ability of the species to use a fragmented landscape is still unknown, two national parks close to each other means that the area is ideal for relevant research, and this information is extremely important for jaguar conservation.

Associated thesis:

Silveira, L., Jácomo, A. T. A., Astete, S., Sollmann, R., Tôrres, N. M., Furtado, M. M., and Marinho-Filho, J. 2009. Jaguar density in the Caatinga of Northeastern Brazil. Oryx, in press.

References:

Silveira, L., Jácomo, A. T. A., Astete, S., Sollmann, R., Tôrres, N. M., Furtado, M. M., and Marinho-Filho, J. 2009. Jaguar density in the Caatinga of Northeastern Brazil. Oryx, in press.

Read more about this topic:

Astete. S. E. P. 2008. Ecology of the Jaguar in the Serra da Capivara and Serra das Confusões National Parks. MS thesis, University of Brasília, Brasília, DF. 106p (in Portuguese).

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