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|Jaguar - Panthera onca|
|Topic Started: Jan 7 2012, 01:05 AM (3,106 Views)|
|DinosaurMichael||Jan 7 2012, 01:05 AM Post #1|
Jaguar - Panthera onca
Species: P. onca
Conservation status: Near Threatened
The jaguar ( /ˈdʒæɡwɑr/ or UK /ˈdʒæɡjuː.ər/; Panthera onca) is a big cat, a feline in the Panthera genus, and is the only Panthera species found in the Americas. The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The jaguar's present range extends from Southern United States and Mexico across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Apart from a known and possibly breeding population in Arizona (southeast of Tucson), the cat has largely been extirpated from the United States since the early 20th century.
This spotted cat most closely resembles the leopard physically, although it is usually larger and of sturdier build and its behavioural and habitat characteristics are closer to those of the tiger. While dense rainforest is its preferred habitat, the jaguar will range across a variety of forested and open terrain. It is strongly associated with the presence of water and is notable, along with the tiger, as a feline that enjoys swimming. The jaguar is largely a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain (an apex predator). It is a keystone species, playing an important role in stabilizing ecosystems and regulating the populations of the animals it hunts. The jaguar has an exceptionally powerful bite, even relative to the other big cats. This allows it to pierce the shells of armoured reptiles and to employ an unusual killing method: it bites directly through the skull of prey between the ears to deliver a fatal bite to the brain.
The jaguar is a near threatened species and its numbers are declining. Threats include habitat loss and fragmentation. While international trade in jaguars or their parts is prohibited, the cat is still frequently killed by humans, particularly in conflicts with ranchers and farmers in South America. Although reduced, its range remains large; given its historical distribution, the jaguar has featured prominently in the mythology of numerous indigenous American cultures, including that of the Maya and Aztec.
EtymologyIt comes to English from one of the Tupi–Guarani languages, presumably the Amazonian trade language Tupinambá, via Portuguese jaguar. The Tupian word, yaguara "beast", is sometimes translated as "dog". The specific word for jaguar is yaguareté, with the suffix -eté meaning "real" or "true".
The first component of its taxonomic designation, Panthera, is Latin, from the Greek word for leopard, πάνθηρ, the type species for the genus. This has been said to derive from the παν- "all" and θήρ from θηρευτής "predator", meaning "predator of all" (animals), though this may be a folk etymology—it may instead be ultimately of Sanskrit origin, from pundarikam, the Sanskrit word for "tiger".
Onca is the Portuguese onça, with the cedilla dropped for typographical reasons, found in English as ounce for the Snow Leopard, Uncia uncia. It derives from the Latin lyncea lynx, with the letter L confused with the definite article (Italian lonza, Old French l'once).
In many Central and South American countries, the cat is referred to as el tigre ("the tiger").
The jaguar, Panthera onca, is the only existent New World member of the Panthera genus. DNA evidence shows that the lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, snow leopard, and clouded leopard share a common ancestor and that this group is between six and ten million years old; the fossil record points to the emergence of Panthera just two to 3.8 million years ago. Phylogenetic studies generally have shown that the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is basal to this group. The position of the remaining species varies between studies and is effectively unresolved.
Based on morphological evidence, British zoologist Reginald Pocock concluded that the jaguar is most closely related to the leopard. However, DNA evidence is inconclusive and the position of the jaguar relative to the other species varies between studies. Fossils of extinct Panthera species, such as the European Jaguar (Panthera gombaszoegensis) and the American Lion (Panthera atrox), show characteristics of both the lion and the jaguar. Analysis of jaguar mitochondrial DNA has dated the species lineage to between 280,000 and 510,000 years ago, later than suggested by fossil records.
While jaguars now live only in America, they are descended from Old World cats. Two million years ago, scientists believe, the jaguar and its closest relative, the similarly spotted leopard, shared a common ancestor in Asia. In the early Pleistocene, the forerunners of modern jaguars crept across Beringia, the land bridge that once spanned the Bering Strait and connected Asia and North America. These jaguar ancestors then moved south into Central and South America, feeding on the deer and other grazing animals that once covered the landscape in huge herds.
The last taxonomic delineation of the jaguar subspecies was performed by Pocock in 1939. Based on geographic origins and skull morphology, he recognized eight subspecies. However, he did not have access to sufficient specimens to critically evaluate all subspecies, and he expressed doubt about the status of several. Later consideration of his work suggested only three subspecies should be recognized.
Recent studies have also failed to find evidence for well defined subspecies, and are no longer recognized. Larson (1997) studied the morphological variation in the jaguar and showed that there is clinal north–south variation, but also that the differentiation within the supposed subspecies is larger than that between them and thus does not warrant subspecies subdivision. A genetic study by Eizirik and coworkers in 2001 confirmed the absence of a clear geographical subspecies structure, although they found that major geographical barriers such as the Amazon River limited the exchange of genes between the different populations. A subsequent, more detailed, study confirmed the predicted population structure within the Colombian jaguars.
Pocock's subspecies divisions are still regularly listed in general descriptions of the cat. Seymour grouped these in three subspecies.
1. Panthera onca onca: Venezuela through the Amazon, including
P. onca peruviana (Peruvian Jaguar): Coastal Peru
2. P. onca hernandesii (Mexican Jaguar): Western Mexico – including
P. onca centralis (Central American Jaguar): El Salvador to Colombia
P. onca arizonensis (Arizonan Jaguar): Southern Arizona to Sonora, Mexico
P. onca veraecrucis: Central Texas to Southeastern Mexico
P. onca goldmani (Goldman's Jaguar): Yucatán Peninsula to Belize and Guatemala
3. P. onca palustris (the largest subspecies, weighing more than 135 kg or 300 lb): The Pantanal regions of Mato Grosso & Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, along the Paraguay River into Paraguay and northeastern Argentina.
The Mammal Species of the World continues to recognize nine subspecies, the eight subspecies above and additionally P. o. paraguensis.
Biology and behaviour
The jaguar is a compact and well-muscled animal. There are significant variations in size and weight: weights are normally in the range of 56–96 kilograms (124–211 lb). Larger males have been recorded at as much as 160 kg (350 lb) (roughly matching a tigress or lioness), and the smallest females have low weights of 36 kg (79 lb). Females are typically 10–20% smaller than males. The length of the cat varies from 1.2 to 1.95 m (3.9 to 6.4 ft), and its tail may add a further 45 to 75 cm (18 to 30 in). It stands about 63 to 76 cm (25 to 30 in) tall at the shoulders. Like the slightly smaller Old World leopard, this cat is relatively short and stocky in build.
Further variations in size have been observed across regions and habitats, with size tending to increase from the north to south. A study of the jaguar in the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve on the Mexican Pacific coast, showed ranges of just about 50 kilograms (110 lb), about the size of the cougar. By contrast, a study of the Jaguar in the Brazilian Pantanal region found average weights of 100 kilograms (220 lb) and weights of 136 kilograms (300 lb) or more are not uncommon in old males. Forest jaguars are frequently darker and considerably smaller than those found in open areas (the Pantanal is an open wetland basin), possibly due to the smaller numbers of large herbivorous prey in forest areas.
A short and stocky limb structure makes the jaguar adept at climbing, crawling and swimming. The head is robust and the jaw extremely powerful. The jaguar has the strongest bite of all felids, capable of biting down with 2,000 pounds-force (8,900 N). This is twice the strength of a lion and the second strongest of all mammals after the spotted hyena; this strength is an adaptation that allows the jaguar to pierce turtle shells. A comparative study of bite force adjusted for body size ranked it as the top felid, alongside the clouded leopard and ahead of the lion and tiger. It has been reported that "an individual jaguar can drag a 360 kg (800 lb) bull 8 m (25 ft) in its jaws and pulverize the heaviest bones". The jaguar hunts wild animals weighing up to 300 kilograms (660 lb) in dense jungle, and its short and sturdy physique is thus an adaptation to its prey and environment. The base coat of the jaguar is generally a tawny yellow, but can range to reddish-brown and black. The cat is covered in rosettes for camouflage in its jungle habitat. The spots vary over individual coats and between individual Jaguars: rosettes may include one or several dots, and the shape of the dots varies. The spots on the head and neck are generally solid, as are those on the tail, where they may merge to form a band. The underbelly, throat and outer surface of the legs and lower flanks are white.
While the jaguar closely resembles the leopard, it is sturdier and heavier, and the two animals can be distinguished by their rosettes: the rosettes on a jaguar's coat are larger, fewer in number, usually darker, and have thicker lines and small spots in the middle that the leopard lacks. Jaguars also have rounder heads and shorter, stockier limbs compared to leopards.
Colour morphism occurs in the species. A near-black melanistic form occurs regularly. Jaguars with melanism appear entirely black, although their spots are still visible on close examination.
The black morph is less common than the spotted form but, at about six percent of the population, it is several orders of magnitude above the rate of mutation. Hence it is being supported by selection. There is some evidence that the melanism allele is dominant. The black form may be an example of heterozygote advantage; breeding in captivity is not yet conclusive on this.
Melanistic Jaguars are informally known as black panthers but, like all forms of polymorphism, do not form a separate species.
Extremely rare albino individuals, sometimes called white panthers, also occur among jaguars, as with the other big cats. As usual with albinos in the wild, selection keeps the frequency close to the rate of mutation.
Reproduction and life cycle
Jaguar females reach sexual maturity at about two years of age, and males at three or four. The cat is believed to mate throughout the year in the wild, although births may increase when prey is plentiful. Research on captive male jaguars supports the year-round mating hypothesis, with no seasonal variation in semen traits and ejaculatory quality; low reproductive success has also been observed in captivity. Female estrous is 6–17 days out of a full 37-day cycle, and females will advertise fertility with urinary scent marks and increased vocalization. Both sexes will range more widely than usual during courtship.
Mating pairs separate after the act, and females provide all parenting. The gestation period lasts 93–105 days; females give birth to up to four cubs, and most commonly to two. The mother will not tolerate the presence of males after the birth of cubs, given a risk of infanticide; this behaviour is also found in the tiger.
The young are born blind, gaining sight after two weeks. Cubs are weaned at three months but remain in the birth den for six months before leaving to accompany their mother on hunts. They will continue in their mother's company for one to two years before leaving to establish a territory for themselves. Young males are at first nomadic, jostling with their older counterparts until they succeed in claiming a territory. Typical lifespan in the wild is estimated at around 12–15 years; in captivity, the jaguar lives up to 23 years, placing it among the longest-lived cats.
Like most cats, the jaguar is solitary outside mother-cub groups. Adults generally meet only to court and mate (though limited non-courting socialization has been observed anecdotally) and carve out large territories for themselves. Female territories, which range from 25 to 40 km2 in size, may overlap, but the animals generally avoid one another. Male ranges cover roughly twice as much area, varying in size with the availability of game and space, and do not overlap. The jaguar uses scrape marks, urine, and faeces to mark its territory.
Like the other big cats, the jaguar is capable of roaring and does so to warn territorial and mating competitors away; intensive bouts of counter-calling between individuals have been observed in the wild. Their roar often resembles a repetitive cough, and they may also vocalize mews and grunts. Mating fights between males occur, but are rare, and aggression avoidance behaviour has been observed in the wild. When it occurs, conflict is typically over territory: a male's range may encompass that of two or three females, and he will not tolerate intrusions by other adult males.
The jaguar is often described as nocturnal, but is more specifically crepuscular (peak activity around dawn and dusk). Both sexes hunt, but males travel farther each day than females, befitting their larger territories. The jaguar may hunt during the day if game is available and is a relatively energetic feline, spending as much as 50–60% of its time active. The jaguar's elusive nature and the inaccessibility of much of its preferred habitat make it a difficult animal to sight, let alone study.
Hunting and diet
Like all cats, the jaguar is an obligate carnivore, feeding only on meat. It is an opportunistic hunter and its diet encompasses 87 species. The jaguar prefers large prey and will take adult caiman (a form of small alligator), deer, capybara, tapirs, peccaries, dogs, foxes, and sometimes even anacondas. However, the cat will eat any small species that can be caught, including frogs, mice, birds, fish, sloths, monkeys, and turtles; a study conducted in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize, for example, revealed that jaguars there had a diet that consisted primarily of armadillos and pacas. Some jaguars will also take domestic livestock, including adult cattle and horses.
While the jaguar employs the deep-throat bite-and-suffocation technique typical among Panthera, it prefers a killing method unique amongst cats: it pierces directly through the temporal bones of the skull between the ears of prey (especially the capybara) with its canine teeth, piercing the brain. This may be an adaptation to "cracking open" turtle shells; following the late Pleistocene extinctions, armoured reptiles such as turtles would have formed an abundant prey base for the jaguar. The skull bite is employed with mammals in particular; with reptiles such as caiman, the jaguar may leap on to the back of the prey and sever the cervical vertebrae, immobilizing the target. While capable of cracking turtle shells, the jaguar may simply reach into the shell and scoop out the flesh. With prey such as smaller dogs, a paw swipe to the skull may be sufficient in killing it.
The jaguar is a stalk-and-ambush rather than a chase predator. The cat will walk slowly down forest paths, listening for and stalking prey before rushing or ambushing. The jaguar attacks from cover and usually from a target's blind spot with a quick pounce; the species' ambushing abilities are considered nearly peerless in the animal kingdom by both indigenous people and field researchers, and are probably a product of its role as an apex predator in several different environments. The ambush may include leaping into water after prey, as a jaguar is quite capable of carrying a large kill while swimming; its strength is such that carcasses as large as a heifer can be hauled up a tree to avoid flood levels.
On killing prey, the jaguar will drag the carcass to a thicket or other secluded spot. It begins eating at the neck and chest, rather than the midsection. The heart and lungs are consumed, followed by the shoulders. The daily food requirement of a 34 kilogram animal, at the extreme low end of the species' weight range, has been estimated at 1.4 kilograms. For captive animals in the 50–60 kilogram range, more than 2 kilograms of meat daily is recommended. In the wild, consumption is naturally more erratic; wild cats expend considerable energy in the capture and kill of prey, and may consume up to 25 kilograms of meat at one feeding, followed by periods of famine. Unlike all other species in the Panthera genus, jaguars very rarely attack humans. Most of the scant cases where jaguars turn to taking a human show that the animal is either old with damaged teeth or is wounded. Sometimes, if scared or threatened, jaguars in captivity may lash out at zookeepers.
EcologyDistribution and habitatIt has been an American cat since crossing the Bering Land Bridge during the Pleistocene epoch; the immediate ancestor of modern animals is Panthera onca augusta, which was larger than the contemporary cat. Its present range extends from Mexico, through Central America and into South America, including much of Amazonian Brazil. The countries included in this range are Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica (particularly on the Osa Peninsula), Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, United States and Venezuela. The jaguar is now extinct in El Salvador and Uruguay. It occurs in the 400 km² Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize, the 5,300 km² Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, the approximately 15,000 km2 Manú National Park in Peru, the approximately 26,000 km2 Xingu National Park in Brazil, and numerous other reserves throughout its range.
inclusion of the United States in the list is based on occasional sightings in the southwest, particularly in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In the early 20th century, the jaguar's range extended as far north as the Grand Canyon, and as far west as Southern California. The jaguar is a protected species in the United States under the Endangered Species Act, which has stopped the shooting of the animal for its pelt. In 1996 and from 2004 on, wildlife officials in Arizona photographed and documented jaguars in the southern part of the state. Between 2004 and 2007 two or three jaguars have been reported by researchers around Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona. One of them was called 'Macho B' and has been previously photographed in 1996 in the area. For any permanent population in the USA to thrive, protection from killing, an adequate prey base, and connectivity with Mexican populations are essential. On 25 February 2009 a 118 lb Jaguar was caught, radio-collared and released in an area southwest of Tucson, Arizona; this is farther north than had previously been expected and represents a sign that there may be a permanent breeding population of Jaguars within southern Arizona. It was later confirmed that the animal is indeed the same male individual (known as 'Macho B') that was photographed in 2004 and is now the oldest known Jaguar in the wild (approximately 15 years old.) On Monday 2 March 2009, Macho B was recaptured and euthanized after he was found to be suffering from kidney failure.
Completion of the United States–Mexico barrier as currently proposed will reduce the viability of any population currently residing in the United States, by reducing gene flow with Mexican populations, and prevent any further northward expansion for the species.
The historic range of the species included much of the southern half of the United States, and in the south extended much farther to cover most of the South American continent. In total, its northern range has receded 1,000 km (621 mi) southward and its southern range 2,000 km (1243 mi) northward. Ice age fossils of the jaguar, dated between 40,000 and 11,500 years ago, have been discovered in the United States, including some at an important site as far north as Missouri. Fossil evidence shows jaguars of up to 190 kg (420 lb), much larger than the contemporary average for the animal.
The habitat of the cat includes the rain forests of South and Central America, open, seasonally flooded wetlands, and dry grassland terrain. Of these habitats, the jaguar much prefers dense forest; the cat has lost range most rapidly in regions of drier habitat, such as the Argentinian pampas, the arid grasslands of Mexico, and the southwestern United States. The cat will range across tropical, subtropical, and dry deciduous forests (including, historically, oak forests in the United States). The jaguar is strongly associated with water and it often prefers to live by rivers, swamps, and in dense rainforest with thick cover for stalking prey. Jaguars have been found at elevations as high as 3,800 m, but they typically avoid montane forest and are not found in the high plateau of central Mexico or in the Andes.
Substantial evidence exists that there is also a colony of non-native melanistic leopards or jaguars inhabiting the rainforests around Sydney, Australia. A local report compiled statements from over 450 individuals recounting their stories of sighting large black cats in the area and confidential NSW Government documents regarding the matter proved wildlife authorities were so concerned about the big cats and the danger to humans, they commissioned an expert to catch it. The three-day hunt later failed, but ecologist Johannes J. Bauer warned: "Difficult as it seems to accept, the most likely explanation is the presence of a large, feline predator. In this area, [it is] most likely a leopard, less likely a jaguar."
The adult jaguar is an apex predator, meaning that it exists at the top of its food chain and is not preyed on in the wild. The jaguar has also been termed a keystone species, as it is assumed, through controlling the population levels of prey such as herbivorous and granivorous mammals, apex felids maintain the structural integrity of forest systems. However, accurately determining what effect species like the jaguar have on ecosystems is difficult, because data must be compared from regions where the species is absent as well as its current habitats, while controlling for the effects of human activity. It is accepted that mid-sized prey species undergo population increases in the absence of the keystone predators and it has been hypothesized that this has cascading negative effects. However, field work has shown this may be natural variability and that the population increases may not be sustained. Thus, the keystone predator hypothesis is not favoured by all scientists.
The jaguar also has an effect on other predators. The jaguar and the cougar, the next largest feline of the Americas, are often sympatric (related species sharing overlapping territory) and have often been studied in conjunction. Where sympatric with the jaguar, the cougar is smaller than normal and is smaller than the local jaguars. The jaguar tends to take larger prey and the cougar smaller, reducing the latter's size. This situation may be advantageous to the cougar. Its broader prey niche, including its ability to take smaller prey, may give it an advantage over the jaguar in human-altered landscapes; while both are classified as near-threatened species, the cougar has a significantly larger current distribution.
Jaguar populations are rapidly declining. The animal is considered Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, meaning it may be threatened with extinction in the near future. The loss of parts of its range, including its virtual elimination from its historic northern areas and the increasing fragmentation of the remaining range, have contributed to this status. The 1960s saw particularly significant declines, with more than 15,000 jaguar skins brought out of the Brazilian Amazon yearly; the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of 1973 brought about a sharp decline in the pelt trade. Detailed work performed under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society reveal that the animal has lost 37% of its historic range, with its status unknown in an additional 18%. More encouragingly, the probability of long-term survival was considered high in 70% of its remaining range, particularly in the Amazon basin and the adjoining Gran Chaco and Pantanal.
The major risks to the jaguar include deforestation across its habitat, increasing competition for food with human beings, poaching, hurricanes in northern parts of its range, and the behaviour of ranchers who will often kill the cat where it preys on livestock. When adapted to the prey, the jaguar has been shown to take cattle as a large portion of its diet; while land clearance for grazing is a problem for the species, the jaguar population may have increased when cattle were first introduced to South America as the animals took advantage of the new prey base. This willingness to take livestock has induced ranch owners to hire full-time jaguar hunters, and the cat is often shot on sight.
The jaguar is regulated as an Appendix I species under CITES: all international trade in jaguars or their parts is prohibited. All hunting of jaguars is prohibited in Argentina, Belize, Colombia, French Guiana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, the United States (where it is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act), Uruguay and Venezuela. Hunting of jaguars is restricted to "problem animals" in Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru, while trophy hunting is still permitted in Bolivia. The species has no legal protection in Ecuador or Guyana.
Current conservation efforts often focus on educating ranch owners and promoting ecotourism. The jaguar is generally defined as an umbrella species – a species whose home range and habitat requirements are sufficiently broad that, if protected, numerous other species of smaller range will also be protected. Umbrella species serve as "mobile links" at the landscape scale, in the jaguar's case through predation. Conservation organizations may thus focus on providing viable, connected habitat for the jaguar, with the knowledge that other species will also benefit.
Given the inaccessibility of much of the species' range—particularly the central Amazon—estimating jaguar numbers is difficult. Researchers typically focus on particular bioregions, and thus species-wide analysis is scant. In 1991, 600–1,000 (the highest total) were estimated to be living in Belize. A year earlier, 125–180 jaguars were estimated to be living in Mexico's 4,000 km2 (2400 mi2) Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, with another 350 in the state of Chiapas. The adjoining Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala, with an area measuring 15,000 km2 (9,000 mi2), may have 465–550 animals. Work employing GPS–telemetry in 2003 and 2004 found densities of only six to seven jaguars per 100 km2 in the critical Pantanal region, compared with 10 to 11 using traditional methods; this suggests that widely used sampling methods may inflate the actual numbers of cats.
In the past, conservation of jaguars sometimes occurred through the protection of jaguar "hotspots". These hotspots were described as Jaguar Conservation Units, and were large areas populated by about 50 jaguars. However, some researchers recently determined that, in order to maintain a robust sharing of the jaguar gene pool necessary for maintaining the species, it is important that the jaguars are interconnected. To facilitate this, a new project, the Paseo del Jaguar, has been established to connect several jaguar hotspots.
Jaguar in the United States
The only cat native to North America that roars, the jaguar was first observed and recorded in the United States by Thomas Jefferson in 1799. Jefferson's zoological report included jaguar in the fauna of the Ohio River Valley portion of West Virginia. There are multiple zoological reports of jaguar in California, two as far north as Monterey in 1814 (Langsdorff) and 1826 (Beechey). The coastal Diegueño (Kumeyaay people) of San Diego and Cahuilla Indians of Palm Springs had words for jaguar and the cats persisted there until about 1860. The only recorded description of an active jaguar den with breeding adults and kittens in the U.S. was in the Tehachapi Mountains of California prior to 1860. In 1843, Rufus Sage, an explorer and experienced observer recorded jaguar present on the headwaters of the North Platte River 30–50 miles north of Long's Peak in Colorado. Cabot's 1544 map has a drawing of jaguar ranging over the Pennsylvania and Ohio valleys. Historically, the jaguar was recorded in far eastern Texas, and the northern parts of Arizona and New Mexico. However, since the 1940s, the jaguar has been limited to the southern parts of these states. Although less reliable than zoological records, native American artefacts with possible jaguar motifs range from the Pacific Northwest to Pennsylvania and Florida.
Jaguars were rapidly eliminated by Anglo-Americans in the United States, along with most other large predators. The last female jaguar in the United States was shot by a hunter in Arizona's White Mountains in 1963. In 1969, Arizona outlawed most jaguar hunting, but with no females known to be at large, there was little hope the population could rebound. During the next 25 years, only two jaguars were documented in the United States, both killed: a large male shot in 1971 near the Santa Cruz River by two teenage duck hunters, and another male cornered by hounds in the Dos Cabezas Mountains in 1986. Then in 1996, Warner Glenn, a rancher and hunting guide from Douglas, Arizona, came across a jaguar in the Peloncillo Mountains and became a jaguar researcher, placing webcams which recorded four more Arizona jaguars.
On November 19, 2011, a 200-pound male jaguar was photographed near Cochise in southern Arizona by a hunter after being treed by his dogs (the animal left the scene unharmed). This is the last jaguar seen since another male, named "Macho B", died shortly after being radio-collared by Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) officials in March, 2009. In the Macho B incident, a former AGFD subcontractor pleaded guilty to violating the endangered species act for trapping the cat and a Game and Fish employee was fired for lying to federal investigators. None of the other four male jaguars sighted in Arizona in the last 15 years have been seen since 2006.However, a second 2011 sighting of an Arizona jaguar was reported by a Homeland Security border pilot in June 2011, and conservation researchers sighted two jaguars within 30 miles of the Mexico/U.S. border in 2010.
Legal action by the Center for Biological Diversity led to federal listing of the cat on the endangered species list in 1997. However, on January 7, 2008, George W. Bush appointee H. Dale Hall, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, signed a recommendation to abandon jaguar recovery as a federal goal under the Endangered Species Act. Critics, including the Center of Biological Diversity and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, were concerned that the jaguar was being sacrificed for the government's new border fence, which is to be built along many of the cat's typical crossings between the United States and Mexico. In 2010, the Obama Administration reversed the Bush Administration policy and pledged to protect "critical habitat" and draft a recovery plan for the species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is under a court order to develop a jaguar recovery plan and designate critical habitat for the cats.
In mythology and culture
In pre-Columbian Central and South America, the jaguar has long been a symbol of power and strength. Among the Andean cultures, a jaguar cult disseminated by the early Chavín culture became accepted over most of what is today Peru by 900 BC. The later Moche culture of Northern Peru used the jaguar as a symbol of power in many of their ceramics.
In Mesoamerica, the Olmec—an early and influential culture of the Gulf Coast region roughly contemporaneous with the Chavín—developed a distinct "were-jaguar" motif of sculptures and figurines showing stylised jaguars or humans with jaguar characteristics. In the later Maya civilization, the jaguar was believed to facilitate communication between the living and the dead and to protect the royal household. The Maya saw these powerful felines as their companions in the spiritual world, and a number of Maya rulers bore names that incorporated the Mayan word for jaguar (b'alam in many of the Mayan languages). The Aztec civilization shared this image of the jaguar as the representative of the ruler and as a warrior. The Aztecs formed an elite warrior class known as the Jaguar Knights. In Aztec mythology, the jaguar was considered to be the totem animal of the powerful deity Tezcatlipoca.
Contemporary cultureThe jaguar and its name are widely used as a symbol in contemporary culture. It is the national animal of Guyana, and is featured in its coat of arms. The flag of the Department of Amazonas, a Colombian department, features a black jaguar silhouette pouncing towards a hunter. The jaguar also appears in banknotes of Brazilian Real. The jaguar is also a common fixture in the mythology of many contemporary native cultures in South America, usually being portrayed as the creature which gave humans the power over fire.
Jaguar is widely used as a product name, most prominently for a luxury car brand. The name has been adopted by sports franchises, including the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars and the Mexican football club Jaguares de Chiapas. Grammy winning Mexican rock band "Jaguares" were also influenced by the magnificent animal to choose their band name. The crest of Argentina's national federation in rugby union features a jaguar; however, because of a historic accident, the country's national team is nicknamed Los Pumas. The country's "A" (second-level) national team in that sport now bears the Jaguars name.
A melanistic jaguar loose in a South American city is the central figure in the 1942 novel Black Alibi by Cornell Woolrich.
In the spirit of the ancient Mayan culture, the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City adopted a red jaguar as the first official Olympic mascot.
Edited by Taipan, Jan 16 2012, 08:22 PM.
Other sites I'm a member on.|
|Wolf Eagle||Jan 7 2012, 09:18 AM Post #2|
M E G A P H Y S E T E R
|Taipan||Jan 16 2012, 08:23 PM Post #3|
Jaguar predation on a Capybara.
Jaguar Spotted In Central Mexico For First Time In 100 Years
ScienceDaily (Feb. 10, 2009) — The jaguar Panthera onca has become an animal in danger of extinction over recent decades, due to the fragmentation and deterioration of its habitat, as well as hunting and illegal animal smuggling. As a result of this vulnerability, no individuals have been seen in the centre of Mexico since the start of the 20th Century. However, Mexican and Spanish scientists have now managed to photograph a male jaguar in this region.
The lack of published records about the jaguar Panthera onca in the State of Mexico and concerns about whether this animal may have become extinct in the forests of the 674.10 km2 Sierra Nanchititla Natural Reserve led to researchers from the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) and the University of Alicante (UA) successfully seeking out and monitoring this feline.
The Mexican-Spanish research project, which has been published recently in The Southwestern Naturalist, includes the first documented recording of Panthera Onca in the centre of Mexico, in the Río Balsas river basin. "The photographs provide information about new recording sites, and allow us to deduce that the area where the animal was observed may be a corridor connecting jaguar populations," Octavio Monroy-Vilchis, lead author and a researcher at the UAEM, tells SINC.
The researchers carried out 86 interviews with inhabitants of villages near the study area between October 2002 and December 2004, as well as collecting feline dropping samples and installing automatic photographic detection systems.
"Even though not one of the interviews mentioned sightings of jaguars, we obtained three photographs of a male, and ten of the 132 excrement samples found have been attributed to the jaguar", says Monroy-Vilchis.
According to members of the local Wildlife Conservation Society, the general area of the Río Balsas river basin is a priority area for verifying the presence of jaguars, since this "could act as a corridor for them to move around".
The experts say there are 15 areas in which it is unknown whether these animals still exist, whether their populations are stable, and if their habitat is adequate. These areas are important for scientific studies, because they could include crucial zones for the felines' long-term survival.
The jaguar's habitat, a limited territory
Monitoring the largest feline in the Americas in the centre of Mexico meant the Mexican scientists had to travel 1,360 kilometres in search of clues and footprints. The Spanish researchers financed the cameras and analysed a total of 1,800 data events collected by them, which were placed in the Natural Reserve.
Of all this material, only three photographs deposited with the image library of mammals in the Sierra Nanchititla Biological Station (UAEM) showed a male individual.
Despite the photographs taken, the researchers themselves were unable to see the animal. "The lack of evidence highlights the fact that the jaguar is more elusive than other felines, and that its presence in the area is sporadic - possibly because it has access to other resources near to Michoacán and Guerrero," says Monroy-Vilchis.
The recording of this individual and the presence of excrement in a range of sites in the south east of the State of Mexico now mean its known range has been extended to 400 km to the south east of Arroyo Seco (Querétano), 27 km to the north east of Purísima de Arista, and 140 km to the north of Puerto del Gallo (Guerrero).
According to the scientists, the fact that the animal was captured on film at 1,845 metres "supports the theory that jaguars travel along the sides of mountains because their habitat has been fragmented by hunting and other human activities", says the scientist.
One of the three photographs of the jaguar taken during the research project in the centre of Mexico.
Jaguar mums give up baby secrets
Page last updated at 14:33 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 15:33 UK
Editor, Earth News
Camera trap shot of a jaguar in Corcovado National Park
Jaguars are one of the most elusive of large animals, reluctant to be filmed or tracked in their natural habitat.
But now biologists have finally managed to learn one of the big cat's secrets; how often it gives birth.
An ongoing study in Costa Rica, one of the last strongholds of the jaguar, has revealed that females in the wild give birth every 22 to 24 months.
Knowing the reproductive behaviour of the species will be vital information in helping to protect the species.
Numbers of jaguars, the third largest of all cat species and the largest in the New World, are declining.
The big cat is occasionally sighted in Arizona and New Mexico in the US, and populations remain within Mexico and south through Central America and into South America, including much of Amazonian Brazil.
But the species is listed as Near Threatened by the World Conservation Union.
If conservationists are to estimate how the last remaining populations of jaguar might grow, they need to know three things: how many cubs females have in each litter, how many of those cubs survive on average, and how often females give birth to new litters.
Jaguar and camera trap attached to tree
But most information about the reproductive habits of jaguars comes from observations in zoos, which may not reflect how jaguars reproduce in the wild. Even in captivity, researchers have been rarely able to document how often females give birth to new litters.
So Eduardo Carrillo and Joel Saenz of the National University in Heredia, Costa Rica and Todd Fuller of the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, US embarked on an ongoing study of jaguars living in the Corcovado National Park in west Costa Rica.
The study began in 1990 after Carrillo saw a female jaguar walking with a single cub across a beach in the park during the day.
"At that time there were few jaguar studies and the lack of information was an important issue when making management decisions about jaguar conservation," says Carrillo. "So in 1994 we decided to radio mark jaguars. In 2003 we began using camera traps."
During the study, they found that jaguars in the park feed mainly on peccaries and marine turtles.
The diet surprised the biologists because an adult jaguar is capable of eating any animal that crosses its path, including people, though there is no record of a wild jaguar ever having attacked a person in the wild.
An elusive jaguar caught on camera one month ago
They also managed to follow a single female jaguar for three and a half years, by using the radio collar to triangulate her position and identifying her particular paw prints left in the mud.
In March one year, they saw the female being attended to by an adult male. By late May or early June she gave birth, and was seen accompanied by a single cub in July.
That cub remained with its mother for 19 to 20 months. Then some 22 months after she had first given birth, Carrillo noticed she was again pregnant, and was seen with a new cub a month or two later.
That confirms that wild jaguars seem to give birth once every 22 to 24 months, and that juvenile jaguars leave the company of their mother after 18 to 24 months, the team report in the journal Mammalian Biology.
Jaguars are thought to give birth to more than cub on average, though it is unclear how many usually survive until adulthood.
"One of the main questions about jaguars is their natural birthing habits," says Carrillo. "We have little knowledge about this until now."
However, despite the team's camera traps recording pictures of adult jaguars, the mothers are still proving protective of their offspring.
"We have pictures of pregnant females, but we have never taken a picture of a female jaguar with its cubs."
315 pound (142 kg) Male Jaguar
Originally posted by Eagleman and Manics
Jaguars' Hunting Patterns Revealed
By Zoë Macintosh, LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 16 June 2010 11:30 am ET
Brazilian ranchers troubled by the tendency of jaguars to stealthily kill cattle may be justified in their fears, according to new research on the mysterious cats' hunting patterns.
Jaguars in the Pantanal wetlands of central Brazil hunt native species, such as giant anteaters, more often than cows, scientists discovered. But when they do kill cattle, they do so at rates exceeding rancher estimates.
The results stand in sharp contrast to government and nonprofit groups' beliefs in the over-exaggeration of cattle rancher losses, in a region where 95 percent of the ranches are privately owned and have been around for more than 200 years, the researchers say.
Documenting hunting and feeding of jaguars "is extremely difficult because of their nocturnal and secretive behavior," the study scientists wrote in the June issue of the Journal of Mammalogy.
Objective, unbiased data was only possible through technology similar to that now used to track cougars, wolves and coyotes in North America.
Collared jaguars roam
Ten jaguars outfitted with collars that sent GPS signals of their whereabouts every two hours, produced a volume of data on their hunting paths and areas of concentrated use such as kill sites, dens and bed sites in the Pantanel – the world's largest freshwater wetland. Every 21 days of data collection, a team of researchers visited a few of these areas in order to identify prey remains.
A total of 11,787 GPS locations collected from October 2001 to April 2004 resulted in 1,105 areas of high jaguar use. Prey remains were found and logged at more than 400 kill sites. Just over a third of the animals killed by jaguars were cattle, while the remaining 68 percent were native species, including caiman (a crocodilian), peccaries (piglike mammals), wild hogs, marsh deer and giant anteaters.
While a recent survey suggested ranchers estimated losing about 70 head of cattle annually out of 6,000 head, the study's results for kill rates showed that during a dry year they usually lost about 390 head, and during a wet year, around 118 head.
Another landscape entirely
A major jaguar stronghold outside of the Amazonian rainforest, the Pantanal wetlands cover an area the size of Iowa frequently flooded in about 3 to 7 feet (1 to 2 meters) of water from rainfall.
"There are times literally in the field when you're on horseback and the water is up to the horse's belly," researcher Eric Gese at Utah State University told Livescience.
The jaguars "don’t mind the water at all," Gese said, but the study revealed the carnivores' hunting choices are largely influenced by seasonal rainfall and water levels, as the ebb and flow of water determines their access to certain animals.
During the wet season, when cattle are scarce and cloistered among elevated plateaus, jaguars predominantly killed the numerous alligators in the area. In the dry season the pattern reversed and cattle killing peaked, as ranchers moved their cattle to the lower grounds to utilize the lush grasses exposed in the formerly flooded plains.
"As they spread the cattle out, they're just exposed to more jaguars. And the jaguars, being the large carnivore as they are, take advantage of the availability of the animals," Gese said.
Lots of cats
Other results of the landmark study, which also collected data on spatial ecology and some interactions, including the insight that jaguars were densely populated, with about 10 to 11 cats per 100 square kilometers (39 square miles) in the area studied, and "surprisingly social."
"We found that they actually encounter each other and spend more time together than we ever anticipated. That was a surprise. Not like prides of jaguars, nothing like that: we had males travelling together, and we didn't know if they were brothers," Gese said. "And the density of jaguars recorded in that area was greater than anything we encountered ... that was astounding."
"It was quite mind-blowing. So, there are a lot of cats there," Gese added.
Recognizing that the ranchers have "a real problem," yet the region's livestock supports jaguars, Gese said his team of scientists was trying to work with officials to get them to figure out a compromise and accept some form of coexistence.
"How they deal with that is up to them. How they want to enact that. This is the first time that somebody has said, 'Look there's data! They lose a lot of cattle to jaguars,'" Gese said.
|Canidae||Mar 29 2012, 07:27 AM Post #4|
Large, interesting and indepth study of Jaguar diet in the Pantanal : http://www.procarnivoros.org.br/pdfs/Azevedo_doutorado_2006.pdf
Sorry I haven't chunked it up and posted extracts, I may get round to it later though!
|pars||Apr 30 2012, 05:24 AM Post #5|
An interesting news about the jaguar predation on guanaco in paraguay chaco. We know that puma is the predator of guanacos in patagonia but jaguar as a camelid pradator is a very interesting fact...I had sent this news in the old forum, I am resending this
Rediscovering the Guanaco in the Paraguay Chaco
January 25, 2006
For more than 40 years, the guanaco of the Chaco ecosystem of Paraguay has taken on an almost mythic status. Does it really exist or is it the stuff of legend? Wildlife conservationists in Paraguay are now celebrating new evidence documented with camera traps that proves that this subspecies of guanaco still persists in the harsh desert of the Gran Chaco.
The guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is one of the four camelids of South America. (A camelid is a member of the family Camelidae that includes camels, llamas and their relatives, all of which feature feet with two toes and leathery soles). The guanaco is a typical species of the cold steppes of Patagonia and the high, cold plains of the Andes but, somehow, surprisingly, it has adapted to the Chaco, one of the hottest, almost arid, ecosystems in South America.
Since 2004, Dr. Cristian Bonacic, director of Wildlife Trust Alliance member Fauna Australis of Santiago, Chile, has collaborated on this project with La Fundación DeSdel Chaco. A recent visit to the Medanos del Chaco National Park during November 2005, served to strengthen an alliance between Fauna Australis and the foundation, aimed toward developing a conservation project with local communities and the Chilean government.
Dr. Cristian Bonacic articulates the importance of the discovery: "This is a tremendous achievement. Local conservationists, led by Laura Villalba, have demonstrated that guanacos, an endangered species, still survive in the Paraguay Chaco. With this evidence, La Fundación DeSdel Chaco is collaborating with the Government to protect the single known population of the country. It is truly a rediscovery of a 120 kilos animal!
"Actually, I saw jaguar tracks in the guanaco study area and I suspect that a large prey like the guanaco still may play a role in the jaguar diet. Protecting the guanaco is not only important in itself; it is part of the needed conservation processes agenda for large protected areas." (Medanos del Chaco is a 0.5 million ha Chaco territory).
Bonacic adds, "The guanaco is a flagship species for these vast and degraded ecosystems of South America, an ecological equivalent to the kangaroo in Australia or the bison in the U.S. Guanacos are undoubtedly a keystone in the diet of the jaguar, another typical Chaco species. Protecting the guanaco is the first crucial step towards protecting the large mammals of the Paraguay's Chaco ecosystem."
Dr. Andrew Taber, executive vice president for programs at Wildlife Trust and a longtime leader in Chaco conservation, says, "Documenting this species' survival in the Paraguay Chaco is a critically important discovery, which, we hope, will galvanize officials to conserve this forgotten ecosystem."
Bonacic says that local Government officers from SEAM are extremely happy about this finding. "Gissela Escobar, a wildlife officer from the Paraguay Ministry of the Environment, endured an arduous journey with us that spanned sandy roads and 50 degrees Celsius temperatures for a roundtrip that completed 1,600 km in 48 hours!"
Future research and collaboration between the government, La Fundación DeSdel Chaco, Fauna Australis and Wildlife Trust aim to understand how guanacos are surviving, whether local communities may play a role in conserving this key species, and how jaguars and guanacos are interacting.
|pars||Apr 30 2012, 05:40 AM Post #6|
Data that I have collected so far about the prey items of jaguar and its possible preys and competitors in different regions
DIET OF JAGUAR IN DIFFERENT REGIONS
In the southwestern United States, potential prey species would include collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu), whitetailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), coatimundi (Nasua nasua), skunk (Mephitis spp., Spilogale gracilis), raccoon (Procyon lotor), jack rabbit (Lepus spp.) and domestic livestock such as cattle (Bos taurus), goats (Capra hircus), sheep (Ovis aries), and horses (Equus caballus).
Sonoran Desert Fauna (Northwestern Mexico): Black Bear, Jaguar, 8 ungulates: Feral Horse (in some parts), Feral Ass (in some parts), Mule Deer, White Tailed Deer, Pronghorn (1 500), Bighorn sheep (Peloncillo Mountains), Feral Pig (Animas Mountains), Collared Peccary, North American Porcupine, Desert Cottontail, Black Tailed Jackrabbit, Antelope Jackrabbit, Koati, Kit Fox, Gray Fox, Racoon, Ringtail Cat, Striped Skunk, Hog Nosed Skunk, Ocelot, Bobcat, Coyote, American Badger, Virginai Opossum, Mexican Opossum, Kangoroo Rats, Cotton Rats, Squirrels, Pocket Mice
Chamela Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve (Jalisco, Mexico): White Tailed Deer (% 54), Collared Peccary, Coatis and Armadillos constitute % 44 of the biomass consumed. Mean prey weight is 15.6 kg. (Wild Cats of the World, Sunqvist & Sunqvist).
Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (Mexico): Peccary Species (% 42 especially collared peccary), Mazama and White Tailed Deers (% 8), Paca (% 4), Anteaters (2), Armadillos (% 12), Carnivores (% 18), Primates (% 4), Birds (% 10) (Wild Cats of the World, Sunqvist & Sunqvist).
Cocksomb Basin (Belize): 228 Scats: Peccary Species (% 5.4), Mazama Deers (% 6.5), Paca (% 9.3), Agouti (% 4.3), Unidentified Rodents (% 1), Anteaters (9.3), Armadillos (% 54), Carnivores (% 2), Opossums (% 4.2), Birds (% 0.5), Reptiles (% 3) (Wild Cats of the World, Sunqvist & Sunqvist).
Fauna: Collared Peccary, White Lipped Peccary, Red Brocket Deer, Paca, Agouti, Armadillos, Howler Monkeys, Northern Tamandua, Opossums, Tayra, Otter, Kinkajou, Coati, Puma, Ocelot, Jaguarundi, Margay,
Guatemala Maya Bioreserve: Collared Peccary (% 21), White Lipped Peccarry (% 4), White Tailed Deer (% 4), Brocket Deer (% 3), Agouti (% 5), Paca (% 8), Monkey (% 6), Birds (% 3), Kinkajou (% 2), White Nosed Koati (% 20), Tamandua (% 1), Nine Banded Armadillo (% 23).
La Selva Tropical Forests (Costa Rica): Sloths and iguanas are prominent in the jaguar’s diet. (Wild Cats of the World, Sunqvist & Sunqvist).
San Jorge and Cauca Rivers Foodplains (Northern Colombia): Capybara (% 49), Reptiles (% 36, principally caimans, river turtles and iguanas) (Wild Cats of the World, Sunqvist & Sunqvist).
Venezuela Llanos (flooded grasslands): diet mainly consists of Capybara, Collared Peccary, Deers (White Tailed Deer % 7, Red Brocket ?), Cattle, Spectacled Caiman and Freshwater Turtles. Jaguars selected for capybara and collared peccary and consumed caiman Caiman crocodilus and white-tailed deer less than expected.
Hato Pinero National Park (Venezuelan llanos) : jaguars, pumas, lowland (brazilian) tapir, white lipped peccary, collared peccary, white-tailed deer, red brocket deer, capybara, giant anteater, 9 banded armadillo, southern tamandua, paca, cottontail rabbit, brazilian porcupine, red howler monkey, wedge capped capuchin monkey, common opossum, robinson’s Mouse opossum, red tailed squirrel, grey fox, crab eating fox, tayra, striped hog nosed skunk, crab eating raccoon, coati, giant otter, ocelot, jaguarindi, margay, oncilla, bats, pink river dolphin, anaconda, caiman, orinoco crocodile, turtles.
Huascaran National Park (Pacific coastal Andean range of Northern Peru, forest, pasture, rocks 2 000 – 6 000 m.): Jaguar, Puma, Spectacled Bear, Peruvian Tapir, 3 camelid: Llama (160 kg), Guanaco (90 kg.), Vicuña (50 kg.), 3 deer : Marsh Deer, White Tailed Deer, North Andean Huemul (55 kg.) , 1 peccary: White lipped Peccary (Huangana), Northern Viscacha, Hog Nosed Skunk, Long Tailed Weasel, Colocolo (Oncifelis colocolo), the Andean Cat (Oreailurus jacobita), Culpeo, the Peruvian Piedtail, a hummingbird species, and many kinds of ducks, including the Southern Pochard. Tracks of jaguar were seen at 2 100 m. in Northern Peru and 2 700 m. in Bolivia.
Manu National Park (South Eastern Peru) : The bulk of the jaguar’s diet consists of collared peccary, agoutis and large turtles. Jaguar kils peccaries out of proportion to their abundance, suggesting that the cats either selectively hunt peccaries or that they are more vulnerable (Wild Cats of the World, Sunqvist & Sunqvist).
In 49 stomachs of jaguars hunted in Brazilian Pantanal and examined by Almeida (“Some feeding and other habits of Jaguar in Pantanal”, 1984), 20 of them (41%) were empty. Of the 29 stomachs with contents, 10 (35%) contained remains of cattle, following, in order of importance, the capybara, the two species of peccaries (Tayassu tajacu and T. pecari), spectacled caiman, and feral hog (Sus scrofa).
Diet in Pantanal: Livestock (% 20.2), Tapir (% 0.4), Capybara (% 47.5), Deers (% 8.3), White Lipped Peccary (% 7.2), Caiman (% 7.2), Collared Peccary (% 2.9), Giant Anteater (% 0.9), Rhea (% 0.2), coati (% 8.6), Others (medium prey) (% 4.6), others (small prey, % 2.8), crab eating raccoon (% 0.8), small mammals (% 0.4)
Refúgio Ecológico Caiman (Pantanal; Brazil)
8 Ungulates: Brazilian Tapir, Introduced Boar (Feral Montane Pig), Collared Peccary, White-lipped Peccary, Marsh Deer (70 – 120 kg. endangered), Pampas Deer (30 – 40 kg.endangered) Red Brocket Deer (16 – 25 kg.), Gray Brocket Deer (15 kg.)
Rodents and Rabbits: Capybara, Brazilian Porcupine, Azara’s Agouti, Paca, Brazilian Rabbit, squirrels, guinea pigs, rats and mice..
Marsupials: White-eared Opossum
Primates: Black Howler Monkey, Brown Capuchin Monkey…
Anteaters: Giant Anteater (endangered), Collared Anteater ( Tamandua)
Armadillos: Nine-banded Armadillo, Yellow Armadillo
Carnivores: Maned Wolf (endangered), Crab-eating Fox, Bush Dog, South American Coati, Crab-eating Raccoon, Tayra, Southern River Otter, Giant Otter, Jaguarundi, Ocelot, Oncilla, Margay (Long-tailed Spotted Cat), Jaguar, Puma
Bats: Fruit bats. Insectivorous Bats, Greater Fishing Bat, Lesser Bulldog Bat
Birds: Greater Rhea, Tinamous, Screamers, Ducks, Guans, Greebs, Cormorant, Egrets And Herons, Ibises, Storks, Vultures , Ospreys, Hawks And Eagles, Lapwings, Jacana, Terns, Doves And Pigeons, Parrots, Owls, Potoos, Swifts, Hummingbirrds, Trogon, Kingfisher, Motmot, Jacamar, PuffBird, Toucans, Woodpeckers, Antbirds And Allies, Woodcreepers, Ovenbirds And Allies, Flycatchers And Allies
caiman, boas and anacondas.
In Brazilian Pantanal, jaguar feeds on cattle, white lipped peccary and capybara (Wild Cats of the World, Sunqvist & Sunqvist).
In another study in Pantanal, of 36 stomachs examined, 12 contained cattle, 5 capybaras, 4 white lipped peccaries, 4 collared peccaries and 2 caimans. Other prey included: Tamandua anteaters, howler monkeys, sloths, coatis, tapirs, giant anteaters, marsh deer, jabiru storks, rheas, fis and land tortoises.
Cavalcanti (2008) reported that in the southern Pantanal (Brazil) GPS-collared jaguars showed individual preferences for (or against) preying on cattle. While a few jaguars had >50% of their kills consisting of cattle, others had <10% of their kills consisting of cattle. Much of the annual variability in predation on cattle was driven by climate (rainfall) and the subsequent exposure (encounter rates) of cattle to jaguars on the landscape. All 10 jaguars were in excellent physical condition when captured for collaring. Cavalcanti also noted that “older and more debilitated individuals seemed to have no problem killing ‘dangerous’ native prey. However, Cavalcanti (2008) found that during an intense drought period, “climatic conditions played a stronger role in jaguar prey selection than individual preference or propensity to kill livestock and that prey switching was common.” Nevertheless, when jaguars are known to occur in an area, they tend to be credited with causing more of the livestock losses that occur in that area than studies indicate they should (see: Rabinowitz 1986b; Rabinowitz and Nottingham 1986; Rosas-Rosas 2006; Rosas-Rosas and others 2008). Leopold (1959) noted that a local resident in Mexico advised him that “only certain animals form the habit of killing stock, and when these individuals are killed, losses cease even though there are other jaguars in the area.” No such “certain animals” were found by Cavalcanti (2008) in the southern Pantanal (Brazil); all 10 jaguars that were monitored with GPS telemetry over a 30-month period killed cattle, but at varying levels of predation seasonally, annually, and individually.
Diet in Caatinga (Northeastern Brazil, semi arid step like savannah vegetation) : Collared Peccary (% 14.3), Giant Anteater (% 57.1), Armadillos (% 14.3), Others (small prey < 2 kg, % 14.3)
Serra Da Capivara National Park (Caatinga Eco Region): Collared Peccary, White Lipped Peccary, Grey Brocket, Red Brocket (very few or extinct), Giant Anteater, Armadillos, Agouti, Crab Eating Fox, Seriema (bird), Guan (bird), Tegu Lizard, Puma, Ocelot, Oncilla
Diet in Amazon Forests of Brazil: Livestock (% 4.4), Tapir (% 3.2), White Lipped Peccary(% 3.1), Collared Peccary (% 3.1), Giant Anteater (% 1.6), Caiman (% 22.8), Other Large Animals (> 20 kg. % 8.5), Monkeys (% 11.3), Crab Eating Raccoon (%1.6), Armadillos (%1.6), Sloth (% 20.5), Other medium prey (< 10 kg. % 12.5), Small Mammals (< 2 kg. % 7.8), Reptiles (% 6.9), Other Small Animals (% 3)
Diet in Atlantic Forests of Brazil (Southeastern Brazil): Livestock (% 13.8), Tapir (% 2.2), Deers (% 8.8), Capybara (% 1.6), White Lipped Peccary (% 7.6), Collared Peccary (% 23.2), Giant Anteater (% 9.5), Other Medium Prey (2 – 10 kg, % 11.6), Monkeys (% 0.4), Sloth (% 0.4), Coati (% 7.2), Crab Eating Racoon (% 1.8), Armadillos (% 9.1), Other Preys Smalles than 2 kg. (% 5.6), Small Mammals (% 2.5), Reptiles (% 1.3)
Diet in Cerrado (Middle Eastern Brazil): Tapir (% 4), White Lipped Peccary (% 35), Deers (% 13), Giant Anteater (% 30), Rhea (% 13), Others (medium prey) (% 4). Mean Weight for prey: 84.7
Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (Cerrado eco region, semi humid tropical savannah): Tapir , Marsh Deer, Pampas Deer, Collared Peccary, Capybara, Giant Anteater, Giant Armadillo, Rhea, Seriema, Maned Wolves, Puma, Ocelot
Diet in Paraguayan Northern and Central Chaco: 106 scats: Tapir (% 1.5), Mazama Deers (% 23), Chacoan Peccary (% 1.5), Other Peccary Species (% 2.9), Chacoan Mara (% 5.9), Cottontail Rabbit (% 23), Opossums (% 10.4), Armadillos (% 7.4), Anteaters (% 3), Carnivores (% 0.7), Yellow Toothed Cavy (% 6.7), Unidentified rodents and rabbits (% 6.7), Birds (% 2.2), Reptiles (% 2.2), Plant material (% 21) (Wild Cats of the World, Sunqvist & Sunqvist).
Kaa-Iya National Park (Bolivian Gran Chaco) is an extremely arid and sparsely inhabited territory; it receives less than 500 mm of rainfall a year on average; the daytime temperatures routinely go above 32 °.
At least 69 mammal species: Jaguar, Puma, Lowland Tapir, Guanaco, Chacoan Peccary, White Lipped Peccary, Grey Brocket Deer, Giant Anteater, Giant Armadillo and Seven Other Species of Armadillo, Ocelot, Geoffroy’s Cat, Diverse Reptiles And Birds.
The tapirs, peccaries and deer apparently survive by obtaining water from cacti, while the carnivores such as the jaguar and puma supplement their intake of water with the liquid content of the flesh and blood of their prey.
Paraguayan Gran Chaco (Western Paraguay, semi arid lowland): Largest dry forest in South America. 400 – 900 mm rainfall. Scientists saw jaguar tracks in the guanaco study area and suspect that a large prey like the guanaco still may play a role in the jaguar diet (http://www.wildlifetrust.org/news/2006/0101_2_guanaco.htm).
Jaguar, Puma, Brasilian (Lowland) Tapir, Marsh Deer (70 – 120 kg.), Pampas Deer (30 – 40 kg.), Red Brocket Deer (16 – 25 kg.), Grey Brocket Deer (15 kg.), Chacoan Guanaco, Chacoan Peccary, White Lipped Peccary, Collared Peccary, Capybara, Giant Anteater, Giant Armadillo, Three Banded Armadillo and 4 more armadillo species, Chacoan Mara, Brazilian Cottontail, Coypu, Black Howler Monkey, Southern Owl Monkey, Black Tailed Marmoset, Opossums, Giant River Otter, Maned Wolf, Ocelot, Geoffrey’s Cat, Little Spotted Cat, Pampas Cat, Azara’s Fox, Crab-eating Fox, Crab Eating Racoon
Baritu National Park (Northwestern Argentina, sub tropical): 59 species of mammals Jaguar , puma, tapir, peccary, brocket deer (Mazama americana), aguti, mountain foxes, river otter, racoon, squirrels, coatis, ferrets, monkeys, cai monkey..Among birds, flocks of many kinds of parrots and toucans are a usual sight, along with all ranges of birds of prey searching for their quarry from some high viewing point. There are also herons, guans and lots of smaller birds.
|Taipan||Jun 10 2012, 02:33 PM Post #7|
First Photos Ever of Jaguars in Colombian Oil Palm Plantation
ScienceDaily (June 6, 2012) — Panthera's camera traps recently produced the first photographic evidence of wild jaguars with cubs in an oil palm plantation in Colombia, including photos of two male jaguars and a female jaguar with cubs, and a video of a jaguar male.
Placed in the Magdalena River valley, these camera traps were set to gather new data about the impact of Colombia's ever-increasing oil palm plantations on jaguars. Panthera's scientists are working to understand the implications of these habitat changes on jaguars and their ability to travel and reproduce, as well as the impacts palm plantations have on their prey species.
In Latin America and Asia, oil palm plantations result in the clearing of expansive tracts of forest on which thousands of animal and plant species depend. Data have shown that in Indonesia, tigers avoid plantations, which serve as major barriers restricting their movement, and gene flow. In Latin America, Panthera's scientists are investigating whether oil palm plantations have similar effects on jaguars.
Rare photos of a female jaguar and her cubs taken with Panthera's camera traps confirm that, at least in some cases, jaguars are willing to move through oil palm. Importantly, the photos come from a small plantation adjacent to a protected area with some indigenous habitat present -- perhaps the best case scenario for fostering jaguar use of palm oil tracts.
Panthera's Northern South America Jaguar Program Director, Dr. Esteban Payan, explained, "Typically, jaguars can move across human-dominated landscapes by travelling through riparian forests or using road underpasses, but until now, scientists had no photographic proof that jaguars entered oil palm developments in this region."
Payan added, "Given the extensive amount of jaguar habitat overtaken by oil palm plantations in Colombia, we hope that certain plantations can be part of the Jaguar Corridor, enabling jaguars to reach areas with little or no human disturbances."
Panthera's Jaguar Corridor Initiative seeks to connect and protect jaguar populations from Argentina to Mexico within human-dominated landscapes, such as oil palm plantations, to preserve the species' genetic diversity. Cupped between Panama to the north and a handful of South American countries, Colombia holds the key to the jaguar's passage from Central America to South America.
Panthera's Jaguar Program Executive Director, Dr. Howard Quigley, stated, "Human development in the shape of large monocultures, like oil palm plantations, are drastically changing the face of the planet, creating refugees out of wild cats by breaking up their habitats and forcing them to live within smaller, often degraded, and more isolated pockets of land. Data collected through Panthera's Jaguar Corridor Initiative are critical for oil palm growers, national policy makers and local governments in their decision making so they can account for the needs of jaguars across their range and minimize impacts on wildlife."
Panthera promotes sustainable oil palm practices, asking farmers to adhere to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Recommendations to help curb the negative impacts of extensive agriculture development on biodiversity and enable initiatives like the Jaguar Corridor to become a reality.
Quigley added, "Our data suggest that plantations can be part of a landscape mosaic that jaguars will use. But careful planning that avoids large-scale replacement of forest with huge palm oil areas will be essential if we want to avoid the kind of isolation that tigers now suffer."
A jaguar mother with her two cubs in a Colombian oil palm plantation.
A jaguar cub inspects a camera trap, set up by the cat conservation group Panthera, in a Colombian oil plantation while its sibling looks on.
A male jaguar walking through a Colombian oil palm plantation. Until now, scientists did not have photographic evidence that jaguars were using oil palm plantations as passageways in the region.
A male jaguar walks past Panthera’s camera trap in a Colombian oil palm plantation.
|Neofelis||Jul 21 2012, 10:40 AM Post #8|
|221extra||Oct 25 2012, 04:59 PM Post #9|
Jaguar v. sea turtle: when land and marine conservation icons collide
(Jaguar with its marine turtle prey. Photo by: Benjamin Barca.)
At first, an encounter between a jaguar (Panthera onca) and a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) seems improbable, even ridiculous, but the two species do come into fatal contact when a female turtle, every two to four years, crawls up a jungle beach to lay her eggs. A hungry jaguar will attack the nesting turtle, killing it with a bite to the neck, and dragging the massive animal—sometime all the way into the jungle—to eat the muscles around the neck and flippers. Despite the surprising nature of such encounters, this behavior, and its impact on populations, has been little studied. Now, a new study in Costa Rica's Tortuguero National Park has documented five years of jaguar attacks on marine turtles—and finds these encounters are not only more common than expected, but on the rise.
"Although there are records of marine turtles predation by jaguars in other countries nowhere else the numbers of predated turtles are nearly as high. I think that the interaction in itself is very likely to be a normal predator-prey interaction," lead author Diogo Veríssimo told mongabay.com. "But the quick increase in predation observed in Tortuguero that could be a symptom of an unbalance in the ecosystem."
Over five years Veríssimo and his team recorded a total of 676 marine turtles killed by jaguars. The vast majority (over 99 percent) of those killed were green sea turtles, but jaguars also preyed on three hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and one leatherback marine turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), the world's largest. Over the five years, more and more sea turtles were killed by jaguars, rising from an average of less than 2 found per survey to over 5.
(Flipper of marine turtle killed by a jaguar in Suriname. Photo by: Jeremy Hance.)
"With a minimum of 189 individuals predated in the last season, predation of adult turtles has now reached a magnitude never before recorded in a marine turtle rookery," the scientists write.
Why the sudden uptick in what is considered by biologists rare behavior?
"Several factors could be playing a role," says Veríssimo. "One would be a potential decrease in other jaguar prey such as peccaries or deer, as a result of hunting by local populations. Another possibility is that jaguars are being driven towards the coast as habitat is cleared and fragmented around Tortuguero National Park."
Green sea turtles are currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List and are imperiled a large number of threats, including accidental bycatch, light pollution, beach development, and both legal and illegal harvesting of turtle eggs. Jaguars are less threatened than their oceanic prey, but are still listed as Near Threatened due to deforestation, prey decline, and targeting by ranchers. So, the rise in preying on endangered marine turtles by America's biggest cat begs the question: what, if anything, should be done?
Veríssimo recommends more research and monitoring before any action is taken. Future research should especially focus on the park's jaguar population, which has been little studied to date. He also notes that though the total number of marine turtles killed—676—may seem high, researchers should not see this as an alarming concern—yet.
"The nesting population of marine turtles in Tortuguero is one of the largest in the world and as such at the moment I do not think jaguar predation is a major threat. Furthermore, we need to remember that marine turtles from this population are still being harvested in Nicaragua in far greater numbers than those currently being predated," he explains, "nonetheless it rests to be seen at what levels the jaguars predation starts to level off as the increase in recent years has been fast."
Jaguar and marine turtle conservationists should begin sharing information, says Veríssimo, to "ensure that there is a landscape perspective when it comes to understanding of this predator-prey interaction."
In the meantime, marine turtles will, as they always have, risk their lives in producing the next generation, and jaguars, consummate hunters, will take advantage of the oceanic reptiles' sudden vulnerability. And nature will continue to surprise us.
(A camera trap catches jaguars feeding on a sea turtle at night when the fateful encounter occurs. Photo courtesy of: Diogo Veríssimo)
(Green marine turtle corpse after being preyed on by a jaguar in Suriname. Photo by: Jeremy Hance.)
(Green marine turtle corpse after being dragged in from the beach in Suriname. By the next day the jaguar had dragged it into the forest seen in the back. Photo by: Jeremy Hance.)
|221extra||Oct 25 2012, 05:03 PM Post #10|
PLATE 1 (a) Green turtle Chelonia mydas and (b) leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea, with typical signs of jaguar Panthera onca
predation, and (c, d) camera-trap photographs of jaguars feeding oﬀ green turtles. (All photographs GVI Costa Rica).
Full study for those if any who are interested.
Edited by 221extra, Oct 26 2012, 05:19 AM.
|221extra||Nov 17 2012, 07:38 PM Post #11|
Canabalism of female adult Jaguar by 2 adult male Jaguars:
Among most free-ranging carnivores, populations seem to be regulated by social interactions manifested through territoriality and aggression (Lindzey et al., 1994; Pierce et al., 2000; Adams, 2001). Instances of aggression and killing of conspecifics have been reported mostly as cases of interspecific killings (Palomares and Caro, 1999) or infanticide (Agrell et al., 1998; Soares et al., 2006), which significantly contributes to mortality of juveniles (Packer and Pusey, 1984; Balme and Hunter, 2004). Although less common than infanticide, intraspecific aggression resulting in death and consumption of an adult conspecific, i.e., cannibalism, has been reported among large terrestrial carnivores (Hunter and Skinner, 1995; Logan and Sweanor, 2001; Amstrup et al., 2006; Galentine and Swift, 2007). Among adult felids, factors that lead to cannibalism may include defense of cubs (Logan and Sweanor, 2001), defense of prey (Galentine and Swift, 2007), and apparent competition (Hunter and Skinner, 1995). Although much has been reported regarding agonistic behavior within felids, incidents of cannibalism among jaguars (Panthera onca) are rare and, so far, restricted to infanticide (Soares et al., 2006). Here, we document an observation of cannibalism of an adult female jaguar by two adult male jaguars.
On 24 November 2007, a jaguar was found ca. 3 days post-mortem in a dense semi-deciduous forest on the western border of the ranch. The carcass was lying on the ground, uncovered, under the shade of a tree and not yet consumed by scavengers. The carcass was a fully grown adult female jaguar, in apparent good nutritional condition (body weight = ca. 60 kg) and, based on wear and staining of dentition, ca. 3-4 years old. Necropsy revealed multiple wounds inflicted on the throat and forelegs, deep punctures at the first, second, and third cervical vertebrae and scapulas, and the abdominal cavity was opened. Multiple wounds matched the size and shape of a bite by a large carnivore. The left forequarter, left forepaw, and distal portions of some ribs had been partially consumed. We did not find fractures on the skull or other bones.
Full story for those interested:
Not only is that the first reported case of cannibalism on other adult Jaguars, but it was interesting to note that it was two adult Jaguars that killed that female & the fact that they were males working together!
Edited by 221extra, Nov 17 2012, 07:41 PM.
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