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Abundance/Density Case Study: Jaguars in the Americas

  • Leonardo Maffei
  • Andrew J. Noss
  • Scott C. Silver
  • Marcella J. Kelly

Abstract

Since camera traps were first used to estimate the density of tiger Panthera tigris populations in India (Karanth 1995; see also Karanth et al. this volume), this methodology has been widely used to study a variety of species: leopards Panthera pardus (Henschel and Ray 2003; Karanth et al. this volume; Kostyria et al. 2003), snow leopards Panthera uncia (Jackson et al. 2006), pumas Puma concolor (Kelly et al. 2008), ocelots Leopardus pardalis (Di Bitetti et al. 2006, 2008; Dillon and Kelly 2007, 2008; Maffei et al. 2005; Trolle and Kéry 2003, 2005), and Geoffroy’s cats Oncifelis geoffroyi (Cuéllar et al. 2006; Pereira et al. 2006). However, jaguars Panthera onca have probably received the most attention with respect to using camera traps to estimate the abundance and density of populations that cover the species’ entire Neotropical range (Cullen et al. 2005; Kelly 2003; Maffei et al. 2004b; Miller and Miller 2005; Silver et al. 2004; Soisalo and Cavalcanti 2006). To date, at least 83 different camera trapping efforts have been carried out to survey jaguars, from southern Arizona in the north to northern Argentina in the south. In this chapter, we describe the details of this methodology – summarizing information on survey design and methodologies, results, data manipulation and analyses – and discuss how future surveys can be refined to allow for more robust inferences.

Keywords

Home Range Capture Probability Camera Trap Camera Trapping Capture Frequency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We especially thank Alan Rabinowitz for his inspiration, leadership, and vision in consolidating range-wide efforts to study and conserve jaguars. Through the decade-long Jaguar Conservation Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society and most recently as the originator of the Jaguar Corridor with Panthera, he introduced us to the methodology, and provided technical and financial support to many of the surveys reported here. We are enormously grateful to all the researchers who generously provided information from their own work and sites: A. Paviolo, M. di Bitetti, C.D. de Angelo, Y.E. di Blanco, L. Denapole, L. Ostro, C. Miller, B. Miller, R. Arispe, E. Cuéllar, C. Venegas, D. Rumiz, R. Peña, T. Dosapey, R. Montaño, A. Romero-Muñoz, J. Barrientos. E. Ity, J. Ity, F. Mendoza, J. Segundo, G. Segundo, R. Wallace, G. Ayala, M. Trolle, T.G. de Oliveira, L. Silveira, N.M. Negroes, A.T. de Almeida Jácomo, E. Payan, E. Carrillo, R. Amit, S. Espinosa, R. McNab, R. García, H. Portillo, O. Rosas-Rosas, J. Polisar, R. Moreno, S. Astete, V. Quiroga, M. Tobler and S. Carrillo-Percastegui. Kathy Zeller graciously produced the map in Fig. 8.1. We thank all the supporters and partners (conservation organizations, local and national governments, the private sector, individuals), too numerous to name one by one, who made research possible across so many sites in so many countries. The on-going collaboration reflected here is essential for efforts on behalf of the jaguar to succeed.

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© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonardo Maffei
    • 1
  • Andrew J. Noss
    • 2
  • Scott C. Silver
    • 3
  • Marcella J. Kelly
    • 4
  1. 1.Jaguar Conservation ProgramWildlife Conservation SocietyNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Latin America and Caribbean ProgramWildlife Conservation SocietyNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Queens Zoo and Jaguar Conservation ProgramWildlife Conservation SocietyNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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