Jaguars in Paraguay
Preserving big cats and their homes across Paraguay
The jaguar is the only Panthera species found in the Americas. It is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion. The outlook for jaguars is dismal as numbers are declining in its home region.
Jaguars used to roam all the way to the US Mexico border, but now they are usually only found in the Amazon river basin.
Many regions in Paraguay are losing their natural habitats to human activity which of course will have a significant effect on many creatures great and small. In particular jaguars are currently under threat due to this habitat destruction, as well as retaliation killings from cattle ranchers as they come into closer contact.
The northern part of Paraguay was named a Jaguar Conservation Unit but despite this, there has been no systematic research into the lifestyle of this big cat or the other endangered mammals. We need urgent studies in order to inform our future conservation actions and keep these amazing animals from being lost forever.
Our project focuses on a large private reserve owned by Guyra Paraguay that still hosts a wonderous variety of animals and habitat types. Here we are undertaking the first comprehensive study of jaguars in Paraguay, together with grantees World Land Trust.
We are using camera traps to learn more about the jaguar as well as other rare species such as pumas, ocelots and tapirs. This technique will give us a critical insight into how many are left, where they are living and how they interact with each other.
The findings will be a starting point for future monitoring and management of these top predators across the country. Also, it will demonstrate the importance of protecting their homes. In turn, this will provide us with a set of tools to influence the management of the land and establish natural corridors that are vital for preserving Paraguay’s amazing wildlife.
- The water seems to finally be receding after last year’s floods so the team are continuing to camera trap and will hopefully be able to carry out scat (droppings) sampling soon.
- The data is still to be analysed but species photographed so far include; jaguars, maned wolf, tapir, ocelots, and deer species.