Extreme climates may threaten Jaguar Population in the future

The Jaguar (Panthera onca) is a big cat belonging to Central and South America, which is at Near Threatened Status. A new study has found that Wild Jaguars found that Jaguar numbers can decline in the future owing to the extremity of climatic conditions. The study said that the big feline of the American continent could cope up for the short term, but lack of food in the future cannot hold the species from going down. The research was led by Professor Kerrie Mengersen and Professor Kevin Burrage and was published in Ecology and Evolution. Notably, this is also one of the World’s first investigation on this Big feline’s chance of survival.

The Study

Researchers examined the area of Pacaya Semiria Reserve, which is spread over 20,800 sq. km in the Pervin Amazon Forests. They added that it is difficult to predict the exact numbers because these cats are cryptic, and their habitat is hostile to humans. The data was based on information from 2016 gathered over Camera traps, scat analysis, Ecology of these cats, and an elicitation study of Indigenous rangers.

The main highlights of the study include,

  • The Results of the study are concerning about the viability Of the future Jaguar Populations in the Peruvian amazon
  • The results drew out six scenarios considering various situations in the life of these big cats
  • Scenario 1 indicates a stable population of 600-700 individuals given the prey is available, and scenario 6 is an extreme case of drought and floods every year
  • The diet of the species includes the lipped peccary, collared peccary, red brocket deer, white-tailed deer, agouti, paca, and armadillo.
  • Although the species show some resistance towards drought and floods, persistent conditions can decline their numbers
  • If there are periods of benign climates in the middle, the population may recover

Apart from this, hunting and deforestation are also standing as a major threat to these big cats. In the worst-case scenario, Researchers say that the population can succumb to single digits in the next 30 years. Hope our next generations will still be able to see these magnificent cats in the jungle.

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Source: Phys.org

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