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Araracanga. Photo: Haroldo Palo Jr.

News

17 ago 2018
:Institutional:

Jaguars spotted for the 1st time in Parana's Serra do Mar area

Discovery highlights that preserving the area is essential for the species' conservation

Couple of felines was filmed by camera positioned in remote wilderness. Credit: Roberto Fusco Costa
A pair of jaguars has been spotted in the Serra do Mar in Parana. The unprecedented record in the region was a result of the “Conservation of large mammals in the Serra do Mar Corridor” project, coordinated by researcher Roberto Fusco Costa, a doctor in Ecology and a member of the Nature Conservation Experts Network. For two and a half years, the region has been monitored in search of large mammals. The action is developed by IPeC (Cananéia Research Institute) and SPVS (Wildlife Research and Environmental Education Institute) and has the support of the Boticário Group Foundation for Nature Protection and the ABN AMRO Bank. You can watch the video here.

According to the researcher, who has worked in the region for over 15 years, it is not easy to get, in that area, a visual record of this feline, which is the largest in the Americas and is a threatened species in Brazil. “Since the Parana Serra do Mar is part of an area with the largest contiguous remainder of Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil, the presence of jaguars was expected, but all we had were reported sightings. This is the first time we get images that prove the current existence of those animals at that location. The last documented record had been made over 20 years ago, based on fecal traces found in the region,” he explains.

The images frame the Parana Serra do Mar as an area that is essential for the conservation of jaguar populations, stressing that the survival of the species is only possible due to the favorable habitat in the region. “The record represents the effort of several researchers and institutions that work together with the Environmental Police to try and keep this Atlantic Rainforest region as conserved as possible. It is a set of efforts to inhibit actions that are still common, such as hunting, that threaten large mammals,” the researcher notes.

Monitoring large mammals

The record of the couple of the jaguars in the Parana Serra do Mar was captured by a “photo trap” placed in a remote part of the wilderness. The research identifies and maps the occurrence of different species of large animals in the Atlantic Rainforest corridor – an area of Serra do Mar in Parana and southern São Paulo. “Based on this map of species distribution, we recommend more effective conservation actions. The record of jaguars strengthens information that the project team had obtained from accounts and interviews with local residents, contributing to the planning of long-term conservation and monitoring,” says Costa.

With the study, experts have already recorded other large species in the region, such as peccaries and tapirs. “Support is important so that we have resources and conditions to obtain the data, to investigate and to inform with quality the occurrence of large species, some of which are threatened, which are present in the region,” he adds.