Population ecology of jaguars in the Pantanal of the Rio Negro
The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas and the largest land predator of Brazil. It is a species that occupies the top of the food chain and its permanence depends on maintaining large areas with high environmental quality, both in terms of habitat and prey. Thus, the jaguar is one of the best natural indicators of environmental quality we have. Yet despite their ecological importance, few population studies on this species in nature.
This study began in December 2001 and will last at least five years. Its main objective is to monitor jaguar populations in the Pantanal region of the Rio Negro. Population parameters such as reproduction and dispersal will be studied. The ecology of the jaguar and the impact of predation on domestic livestock will also be evaluated and monitored.
In the first phase of the study animals will be identified using camera traps and measurements of their tracks. In early 2003 animals will be captured and fitted with radio collars so their movements can be monitored via radio-telemetry.
Anah T. A. Jácomo