Boulhosa, R. L. P., & Azevedo, F. C. C. (2014). Perceptions of ranchers towards livestock predation by large felids in the Brazilian Pantanal. Wildlife Research, 41(4), 356–365.
Context Human–wildlife competition is a worldwide problem. In the Brazilian Pantanal, the competition is between livestock and large cats, such as the jaguar (Panthera onca) and the puma (Puma concolor). Only a few studies have been conducted in the region and have indicated low levels of cattle predation. In addition to the paucity of information on livestock predation levels, information on the local ranchers’ understanding of cattle predation is limited. Aims To investigate local people’s perceptions of large cats and husbandry practices in order to understand some of the causes and extent of jaguar–livestock interaction in the Brazilian Pantanal. Methods We present comprehensive surveys of the local people’s perceptions towards large cats using a 5-point Likert scale evaluated using non-parametric tests in order to reach a better understanding of the causes of jaguar–livestock interaction and its extent in the Brazilian Pantanal. Key results In general, total mortality rate due to cat predation was 2.7 ± 4.9% of total cattle holdings. However, jaguars were reported as a real menace to cattle and cattle predation by large cats was a real concern for ranch operations. The majority of ranchers who implemented cattle management accept the risk of losing cattle to predation by large cats, but only a minority of respondents reported that they would rather live without jaguars. Conclusions The majority of the ranches surveyed had limited husbandry practices and the intensity of cattle management did influence respondents’ perceptions of predation by large cats. Implications We suggest that the focus of conservation actions be on cattle management aimed at minimising other sources of income loss caused by poor husbandry practices.