Jaguars with cubs found in Paraná state

The species was once considered extinct in the region

Published on 04/12/2022 - 14:37 By Bruno Bocchini - São Paulo

The number of jaguars identified by Brazilian researchers in the Serra do Mar region, in the Atlantic Forest of Paraná state, South Brazil, has now reached seven. The species, once considered extinct in the region, has been located again thanks to camera traps installed in the region in 2011.

The findings from the Large Mammals of the Serra do Mar program were reported in the scientific journal Oryx, published last August by the University of Cambridge. After the publication, adults with pups were recorded at the site. The seventh individual of the population was sighted between April and October 2022.

“We’re not sure [how big this population is]. What we have found is jaguars, both male and female, and their cubs. This was after the published study, but how many individuals there are, that’s what we’re trying to find out now,” says the program’s technical coordinator Roberto Fusco.

Pesquisadores encontram onças-pintadas com filhotes na Serra do Mar paranaense.
Photographic traps record images of jaguars in the Serra do Mar in Paraná – Large Mammals Program of Serra do Mar / Boticário Group Foundation

According to Fusco, the jaguars recorded are in an extensive forest area difficult to access. The animals have been pressured to move to remote mountainous areas, he said, mainly because of the hunting of animals that serve as food for the jaguars, in addition to deforestation and heart-of-palm extraction. These factors, he added, may have contributed to keep these felines unrecorded for so long.

The confirmation of their presence in the region makes the area a priority region for jaguar conservation in the Atlantic Forest, the specialist noted.

“Since this region is contiguous to another priority area in the Serra do Mar of São Paulo, we propose an expansion of 5,715 square kilometers to the south, which makes the large forest in the Serra do Mar in Paraná and São Paulo the largest priority area for jaguar conservation in the Atlantic Forest, adding up to 19,262 square kilometers,” says Fusco.

Fusco also points out that, with the increase in the jaguar population in the area, humans and felines will have to coexist. “If by any chance the species increases, which is what we want, we need to work with human–fauna conflict issues, in order to prevent people from killing jaguars out of fear, intolerance, or retaliation, in case the jaguar preys on domestic animals on a rural property.”

The Large Mammals of the Serra do Mar program is supported by the Boticário Group Foundation for Nature Protection and WWF-Brazil.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Aline Leal

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