Over 64 thousand images of species in their natural habitat yield key results for their conservation
· It is estimated that the jaguar population for the entire area being monitored is 200 individuals.
Over the last 100 years, the distribution range of the jaguar has been reduced approximately by half. Currently, almost 90 percent of its population is in the Amazon basin. Also, the 33 subpopulations of jaguars that are located outside the Amazon are in danger or even threatened with extinction. The fact that this feline thrives best in protected habitats is confirmed by the recent results of the monitoring study conducted in the Napo-Putumayo corridor: the number of jaguars and their prey is significantly high, which marks a great advance for the project in monitoring and conservation of nature in this part of the Amazon.
The more than 64,000 images of the jaguar and its prey in their natural habitat are key to its conservation.
For four months, WWF has used 129 trap cameras to monitor this emblematic species on the tri-national border between Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. The area where the study has been developed is ~ 300,000 hectares, divided into two protected natural areas (in Ecuador and Peru) and an indigenous territory (in Colombia).
Thanks to this initiative they were able to identify more than 25 individuals of jaguars, due to the unique rosette patterns on their fur. Additionally, the cameras captured images of 27 species of mammals, including the 8 species preferred by the jaguar as prey. Based on these results, it is estimated that the jaguar population for the entire monitoring area is comprised of 200 individuals. The scientists also found that the diversity of terrestrial mammals is considerably large and distributed evenly throughout the area.
Findings for better protection
The jaguar is one of the key indicators of the conservation status of the habitat. If their populations are stable in the area and the prey they feed on are abundant, it is a sign that the ecosystem is well conserved.
Thanks to the results, it has been possible to define that the Napo-Putumayo Corridor is of great importance for the conservation of biodiversity in the Amazon. Finally, the study shows the enormous value of this area composed of protected areas as a solution to one of the greatest threats of the Amazon: deforestation.
Our work continues
WWF is currently implementing the second stage of jaguar monitoring in the Napo-Putumayo Corridor and is also working on the expansion of the project to Brazil and Bolivia, in order to collect more data, monitor population trends and promote the conservation of the Amazon forests.