Jaguars Are Adapting to Environmental Degradation in the Amazon, UFPA Study Suggests

Feline monitoring revealed that the species is no longer a guage for the level of preservation


The presence of jaguars is typically used as a "thermometer" to measure the level of preservation of primary forest areas in the Amazon. The presence of jaguars proved that there was enough biodiversity to maintain the largest feline's food chain in the region. That is, there was existing preservation of flora, fauna, and rivers and springs.

But a study by researchers at UFPA (Federal University of Pará) who have been monitoring large cats over the past six years in the Paragominas region, in northeastern Pará—an area extremely degraded by deforestation for livestock, logging, large monocultures, legal and illegal mining—revealed that jaguars are adapting to the degradation of their habitat and may be ceasing to be a parameter for the level of preservation of a territory.

Jaguars are at the top of the food chain, so the presence of jaguars presupposed the existence of smaller prey. But that is changing.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language