Ecology and Conservation of the Jaguar in the Iguaçu National Park
Of the eight cat species that occur in Brazil, six, of which five are listed as endangered species probably occur in the Iguaçu National Park (Machado et al. 2005). The main threats to these cats are the constant destruction and fragmentation of habitats, hunting and a declining prey base. These conditions can lead to local disappearance and decline of local gene flow leading to reduced genetic variability, and exposing populations to increased susceptibility to disease and a reduced reproductive potential.
Cats, as predators at the top of the food chain, can be considered essential for the maintenance of biological diversity and integrity of the ecosystems where they live. Thus, they can be used to plan and manage reserves and large interconnected eco-regions, as their requirements for survival include factors important to maintaining ecologically healthy environments.
In the context of the Iguaçu National Park, detailed studies on the ecology and population dynamics of cats may help guide the planning and management of this protected area, including interconnected areas by favouring the establishment of a mosaic of conservation units capable of maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem involved.
support, through information on the ecology of jaguars effective protected area planning and management, as well as contribute to the evaluation and creation of a network of protected areas to ensure the preservation of a viable jaguar (Panthera onca) population and, consequently, the conservation of biodiversity in the upper Paraná River.
- To determine the absolute density of Panthera onca in the Iguaçu National Park and surrounding areas;
- To characterize habitat use and determine which factors influence home range size and movement patterns of Panthera onca in Iguaçu National Park and surrounding areas;
- To characterize the impact of human activities on wild cat populations in Iguaçu National Park and surrounding areas.
- Assess the impact of jaguar and puma on the local economy through conflicts with the local population, determining the rate of predation, characteristics of the prey killed (species, age, management, etc.) and seasonality of predation;
- Evaluate the effectiveness of methods to control domestic livestock predation by large cats;
- To characterize the health and reproductive profile of Panthera onca in Iguaçu National Park and surrounding areas;
- To investigate the genetic diversity, patterns of spatial differentiation among populations and gene flow between populations of Panthera onca in the upper Paraná River;
- To estimate the minimum area required to ensure a minimum viable population for Panthera onca in the upper Paraná River;
- Propose a network of protected areas that can guarantee the preservation of wild cats and hence biodiversity in the upper Paraná River;
- Based on the information collected propose educational methods aimed at the preservation of wild cats in Iguaçu National Park and surrounding areas.
Project publications and reports
O Eco Articles
Dr. Ronaldo Gonçalves Morato, CENAP-ICMBio Biologist Jorge Pegoraro, ParNa Iguaçu-ICMBio Biologist Apolônio Nelson Rodrigues, ParNa Iguaçu-
ICMBio Field Coordinator:
Biologist Marina Xavier da Silva
Biologist Marina Xavier da Silva
Dr. Ronaldo Gonçalves Morato, CENAP-ICMBio
Dr. Laury Cullen Jr., Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas
MSc. Fernando Lima, Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas
Dr. Eduardo Eizirik, Instituto Pró-Carnívoros, PUC-RS
Dr. Taiana Haag, PUC-RSMV
Paulo Roberto Amaral, CENAP-ICMBioMV
Rose Lilian Gasparini Morato, CENAP-ICMBio
Biologist Apolônio Nelson Rodrigues, ParNa Iguaçu-ICMBio
Field Assistant, Adaildo
Field Assistant, Mauro