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Jaguar Densities across Human-Dominated Landscapes in Colombia: The Contribution of Unprotected Areas to Long Term Conservation

Boron, Valeria, Tzanopoulos, Joseph, Gallo, Jenny, Barragan, Jorge, Jaimes-Rodriguez,, Laura, Schaller, George, Payan, Esteban (2016) Jaguar Densities across Human-Dominated Landscapes in Colombia: The Contribution of Unprotected Areas to Long Term Conservation. PLoS ONE, 11 (5). e0153973. ISSN 1932-6203. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0153973) (KAR id:59586)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0153973

Abstract

Large carnivores such as jaguars (Panthera onca) are species of conservation concern because they are suffering population declines and are keystone species in their ecosystems. Their large area requirements imply that unprotected and ever-increasing agricultural regions can be important habitats as they allow connectivity and dispersal among core protected areas. Yet information on jaguar densities across unprotected landscapes it is still scarce and crucially needed to assist management and range-wide conservation strategies. Our study provides the first jaguar density estimates of Colombia in agricultural regions which included cattle ranching, the main land use in the country, and oil palm cultivation, an increasing land use across the Neotropics. We used camera trapping across two agricultural landscapes located in the Magdalena River valley and in the Colombian llanos (47–53 stations respectively; >2000 trap nights at both sites) and classic and spatially explicit capture-recapture models with the sex of individuals as a covariate. Density estimates were 2.52±0.46–3.15±1.08 adults/100 km2 in the Magdalena valley, whereas 1.12±0.13–2.19±0.99 adults/100 km2 in the Colombian llanos, depending on analysis used. We suggest that jaguars are able to live across unprotected human-use areas and co-exist with agricultural landscapes including oil-palm plantations if natural areas and riparian habitats persist in the landscape and hunting of both jaguar and prey is limited. In the face of an expanding agriculture across the tropics we recommend land-use planning, adequate incentives, regulations, and good agricultural practices for range-wide jaguar connectivity and survival.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153973
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: V. Boron
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2016 16:05 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 04:15 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/59586 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Tzanopoulos, Joseph: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3322-2019
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