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Amazon Animal Cams Newsletter

presented by Fundamazonia

22 June 2018

Today is International Rainforest Day!

Today people all over the world are celebrating rainforests and helping to protect the animals, plants and people that live in these biodiverse wildlands.

In celebration of International Rainforest Day, we are presenting a special issue of our newsletter dedicated to Jaguars.

Jaguars of the Samiria River Basin

Jaguars (Panthera onca: Linnaeus, 1758) are the largest cat in the Americas with the males weighing around 120 kg and the smaller females at around 60 kg. They have a total length from 1.7 to 2.4 m. Jaguars have a spotted gold to buff coloured fur but are also black in colour (melanistic), especially in the Amazon forests. These elusive cats usually roam alone in the rainforest, with stable home ranges that overlap between males, females and their offspring.

We have been studying jaguars on camera traps in the Samiria River basin since 2010 and our jaguar research is going stronger than ever thanks to all the dedicated help from our students and volunteers.

In the Amazon, jaguars were overhunted during the period of the 1950’s to 1970’s when there was unregulated hunting for the pelt trade. In 1968 there were around 1,200 jaguar skins exported from the Peruvian Amazon, and in 1972 just before the pelt trade was closed there were almost 2,000 jaguars killed for their skins. Then comes the good news. In 1974, Peru along with many other countries throughout the world signed the International Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species, CITES for short. This ended the legal trade in jaguar skins and the hunting of jaguar began to stop here in Loreto. Jaguars over the past 40 years have rebounded from the dark days of professional pelt hunting and now roam through the forests of the Samiria as the kings they’ve always been.

At the PV2 Taschacocha site Jaguar (Panthera onca) in 2017 had similar camera capture rates as previous years and show a stable and healthy population. We have conformed five jaguars at the PV2 study site

1

Spotted male jaguar (Jimmy). This is the most common jaguar at PV2, especially in the vicinity of Taschilla Cocha (UTM 0571160 / 9461401), which indicates that this is probably at the core of his home range. Jimmy has been sighted twice on trail 2, three times on trail 9, and nine times on trail 8. Jimmy in an adult male jaguar in good form.

2

Black female jaguar (Ebony). This medium sized female jaguar was sighted by Taschilla Cocha and she was followed by Jimmy 8 hours afterwards, indicating probable interaction between the two individuals. She was sighted on a trail commonly used by Jimmy (UTM 0574778 / 9455593: trail 9) on 27 Nov 2017 at 10:31 h and on trail 5 (UTM 0571796/9458947) on 23 Feb. 2018 at mid-day.

3

Half melanistic male jaguar (Dusty), half spotted & half black. This appears to be a younger male jaguar, possibly the offspring of Jimmy and Ebony. He was spotted on the same trail used by Jimmy (UTM 0571160 / 9461401).

4

Black male jaguar (Mic). This large male jaguar was only spotted once by Atun Cocha channel on 19 Oct. 2018 at 5:50 h (UTM 0572090 / 9457811: trail 5).

5

Spotted female jaguar (Angie). This young adult female jaguar was spotted near Atun Cocha on trail 5, the same trail as Mic and Ebony on 1 March 2018 at mid-day  (UTM 0571881/9458866).

Figure. Trail system used for camera traps.

Jaguars are thriving in the Samiria. Together we can help save the Amazon!

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