Picture of the day: jaguars take self-portraits in Bolivia

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
October 19, 2011



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Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have identified 19 individual jaguars—each with a unique spot pattern—in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park. Photo courtesy of WCS.
Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have identified 19 individual jaguars—each with a unique spot pattern—in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park. Photo courtesy of WCS.


A study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Bolivia's Madidi National Park has produced 19 jaguar 'self-portraits' via digital cameras that snap photos of wildlife when they cross an infrared beam, known as camera traps. This is the most jaguars catalogued by camera trap study yet in Bolivia.

"The preliminary results of this new expedition underscore the importance of the Madidi landscape to jaguars and other charismatic rainforest species," said Dr. Julie Kunen, Director of WCS’s Latin America and Caribbean Program, in a press release. "Understanding the densities and ranging habits of jaguars is an important step in formulating effective management plans for what is arguably the most biodiverse landscape on the planet."

The Americas' biggest cat, Jaguars (Panthera onca) are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List, though the population is thought to be decreasing. Deforestation, habitat destruction, prey depletion, and human-wildlife conflict are imperiling jaguars across its wide range, spanning some 19 countries and two continents. Robustly-built, the jaguar often weighs between 125-350 pounds (56-160 kilograms) and is capable of bringing down South America's biggest mammal: the tapir. Attacks on humans by jaguars are very rare; unlike tigers and lions there is no evidence yet that jaguars may become 'man-eaters'.



Jaguar in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park. Photo courtesy of WCS.
Jaguar in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park. Photo courtesy of WCS.



Jaguar in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park. Photo courtesy of WCS.
Jaguar in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park. Photo courtesy of WCS.



Jaguar in the Brazilian Pantanal. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
Jaguar in the Brazilian Pantanal. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.



For more photos of big cats, including jaguars, click here.











CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (October 19, 2011).

Picture of the day: jaguars take self-portraits in Bolivia.

http://news.mongabay.com/2011/1019-pod-jaguars-bolivia.html