Movement Analyses as tools to improve jaguar conservation

Mr Alan Eduardo De Barros1, Professor/ PhD Paulo I.K.L. Prado1, PhD Ronaldo G. Morato2

1University Of Sao Paulo, Osasco, Brazil, 2CENAP/ ICMbio, Atibaia/ Sao Paulo, Brazil

Movements are a fundamental behaviour of most animal species which allow them to search and find locations for better survival and reproduction. Understanding animal movements is of great value for understanding ecology and behaviour, for evaluating the impact of human disturbances, environmental changes, conservation planning and management. Carnivores often displace long distances searching for prey and their movements are particularly susceptible to human activities. Jaguars (Panthera onca) are the largest predator in the neotropics with daily movements which may go beyond 30 Km of distance. Hence, habitat fragmentation and degradation, direct and indirect conflict with humans, such as poaching and depletion of prey, poses threats to the species which currently occupy 46% of its original range. Jaguars may be considered as critically endangered in regions such as Atlantic Forest and Caatinga. Here we focus on questions targeting how habitat and landscape quality, as well as human structures and impacts affects jaguar movements, aiming to identify environmental and anthropic variables that influenced jaguars’ movements across the landscape and how these variables affect different category of individuals. We present preliminar results using integrated Step Selection Functions . Then we discuss as well some methods to be used in our future research (e.g.  corridors, IBMs, etc).  We use a jaguar movement dataset of 117 individuals to get further understanding regarding the importance of environmental and anthropic variables  We believe our findings will contribute to answer some of the current research gaps on jaguars´ ecology.


Biography:

I am currently a PhD student in my first year at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.  In my PhD project I will use movement data of 117 jaguars to study how jaguars from different regions of the species range use the landscapes. First, I will use step selection analyses to assess habitat use and selection, and then I intend to use that information for corridor planning and to develop Individual Based Movement Models for jaguars.

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