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Jaguars (Panthera onca) of the Paranapiacaba continuum: individual identification, population estimation and appropriation by society

Grant number: 19/20525-7
Support type:BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2020 - January 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Cooperation agreement: Secretaria do Meio Ambiente - Fundação Florestal
Principal Investigator:Beatriz de Mello Beisiegel
Grantee:Beatriz de Mello Beisiegel
Home Institution: Unidade de Conservação Floresta Nacional de Capão Bonito. Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBIO). Capão Bonito , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Cristiano Trapé Trinca ; Francesca Belem Lopes Palmeira ; Mariana Bueno Landis

Abstract

The jaguar (Panthera onca), the top predator in the neotropics, originally spread throughout South and Central America to southwestern North America, but currently occurs in only 54% of its original distribution. The species is classified globally as Near Threatened (NT) and in Brazil as Vulnerable to Extinction (VU). In the Atlantic Forest, the jaguar is critically endangered as it has a population of less than 250 adult individuals continuously decreasing due to hunting and loss of habitat, habitat quality and prey base. There are only three subpopulations in the Atlantic Forest with over 50 jaguars, and therefore with some possibility of long-term survival, or Type I Jaguar Conservation Units (JCUs): the Green Corridor, the Alto Paraná-Paranapanema and the Serra Paranapiacaba Continuous, including PE Intervales, PE Carlos Botelho, PE Paranapanema Springs, PETAR, EE Xitué and neighboring large private forests, is the core area for the jaguars of this latter sub-population, with a density from 0.29 to 1.17 individuals / 100 km2; Considering a continuous forest area of 2,000 to 3,000 km2, the Continuous population would have between 6 and 35 individuals. The data that supported this estimate were obtained from 2009 to 2011. Since then, very relevant events for the conservation of the species have occurred: much of the Paranapiacaba Continuous has been reoccupied by the peccaries, Tayassu pecari, one of the main prey of the jaguar throughout the year. All its geographical distribution; On the other hand, known jaguars and others of relevance to the Continuous population were murdered by hunters. The photographic monitoring of the jaguars started in 2006 at Paranapiacaba Continuous has enabled the inference of life stories and family relationships among the jaguars of the area and revealed a great potential for the mobilization of society in favor of the conservation of the species. In addition, we found that the jaguars of the region travel immense distances in a straight line, from 50 to 90 km, and that permanent monitoring of some key points results in an individual identification of almost all animals in the population, which points to the possibility of animal dispersal between the Serra do Mar and Serra do Mar North JCUs and the possibility of expanding this individual identification to all jaguars of Serra do Mar and Serra do Mar Norte, given the identification of key points in each nucleus of the PESM and Serra do Mar protected areas. This individual identification has great potential for the conservation of the species, and may help in the urgent task of promoting the rejection of hunting of jaguars painted by society in general and by the surrounding residents of Continuous Paranapiacaba in particular. The purpose of this project is to update the estimate of the population of jaguars of the Paranapiacaba Continuous, to establish the beginning of the identification program of the jaguar individuals of the coastal Atlantic Forest of São Paulo, and to make society widely and widely known. Communication professionals, the jaguars of Paranapiacaba Continuous, as individuals with life histories and unique family relationships, promoting society's sense of familiarity with the species and its conservation. In the so-called FAPESP - SIMA - FF, this project falls under Theme 10: Other researches that help the effectiveness of Conservation Units management, in line with the Aichi Goals. Among these Goals, the project meets Strategic Objective A: Address the true causes of biodiversity loss by internalizing the "biodiversity" theme throughout government and society; and Strategic Objective E: Improve, expand implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building. Within these objectives, the project includes Goals 1, 2 and 19. (AU)