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Estimation of jaguar (Panthera onca) prey base in the Jureia-Itatins Ecological Station: tool for predicting the carrying capacity for a critically endangered top predator in the Atlantic Forest

Grant number: 22/10963-0
Support Opportunities:BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2023 - September 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Convênio/Acordo: Secretaria de Meio Ambiente, Infraestrutura e Logística - Fundação Florestal
Principal Investigator:Ronaldo Gonçalves Morato
Grantee:Ronaldo Gonçalves Morato
Host Institution: Centro Nacional de Pesquisa e Conservação de Mamíferos Carnívoros (CENAP). Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBIO). Atibaia , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Elildo Alves Ribeiro de Carvalho Junior ; Lilian Bonjorne de Almeida ; Ricardo Sampaio

Abstract

The jaguar population in the Atlantic Forest biome was classified as critically endangered, with about 300 individuals estimated in the whole biome. Efforts to increase this apex predador populations, by reinforcing the population or making reintroductions in suitable areas with no recent records of the species, are conservation strategies more and more needed. The increase of scientific knowledge about the viability of these strategies is crucial for the planning of public policies to be adopted by protected areas, such as Jureia-Itatins Ecological Station (JIES) and its surroundings. This project aims to estimate the carrying capacity of jaguars at Jureia-Itatins Ecological Station, an original effort for the species in Brazil, besides evaluating functional connectivity for jaguars and its main prey species to support the planning of public policies to be adopted at this protected area and its surroundings. The specific objectives of this project are 1) to evaluate environmental and anthropogenic factors on the occupancy probability of jaguar's potential prey species, so that potential threats are identified, and 2) to estimate the jaguar prey species' density at Jureia-Itatins Ecological Station, information necessary for the estimation of jaguar carrying capacity. The data collection will be carried out using systematic camera trap grids in different regions of EEJI. Therefore, this is an original project which will result in robust data and scientific evidence to guide decision-making on the conservation of jaguars and their main prey species both locally and regionally and which is in accordance with Objective-C from the Aichi Targets, especially targets 11, and 12. (AU)

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