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Ecological relationships of jaguars and pumas and their impacts on major prey species in northern Mexico.

Jaguar projects are prevalent in North America on both sides of the international border. Jaguar (Panthera onca) hold historic significance and charismatic charm used by governments and NGOs involved in jaguar detection, protection, de-fragmentation, and conservancy. Our professionals are committed to biodiversity: A jaguar as the “spearhead” promotes environmental interest. Puma (Puma concolor), collared peccary (Pecari tajacu), and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are supported by connection, albeit in the presence of domestic cattle (Bos taurus/indicus). The Team Sonora Jaguar Project is a 5 - 6 year management oriented study. It intends to quantify habitat use of jaguars and to study densities of major prey species while empowering human inhabitants with access to the resources contained in their land and options for eco-tourism and higher education: success is qualified within the social framework of the region.


On approximately 420 sq km, initially 11 ranches that were Conservation Management Units (UMA) designated by the Mexican Federal Government, located southwest of Nacori Chico, Mexico, our Jaguar Team composed of vaqueros and science specialists worked side by side to: Conduct density estimates on predator and prey populations by using randomly and selectively placed camera traps; fit radio collar (GPS) units on jaguar and puma (capture and handling protocol developed by team veterinarians) to conduct range-use analysis of xeric riparian landscape and determined basic ecological parameters; used DNA scat analysis to identify species and individual animals and prey items selected; fit domestic cattle with VHF transmitters to investigate cattle survival, movements, and mortality-cause relative to reproductive schedules; and augmented peccary herds transported to portable pens from a receiving area and research facility - expanded herds (3) were released a year later into areas assigned to a related natural prey augmentation study. 


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