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Large cats of the Ribeira and Alto Paranapanema Valleys


The last significative population of jaguars Panthera onça of the Atlantic forest is located at the south of São Paulo State and the North of Paraná State, which also protect an important population of pumas Puma concolor. However the scarcity of data on the large felids in this region difficult conservation actions and decisions. The aims of this project are: to obtain population densities of the two species of large cats in eleven protected areas under the jurisdiction of São Paulo State, at the region of the Ribeira and Alto Paranapanema Valleys, and in some surrounding particular areas which are important to form ecological corridors among these protected areas; to describe the use of the space and diet of the large cats and their interaction with human populations; and to act together with state and county environmental protection agencies to create effective politics to these two species. Population densities of jaguars and pumas will be estimated by a capture-mark-recapture model, using camera traps. Their diet will be studied by identifying prey in their feces. Conflicts among large cats and human populations on the surroundings of the protected areas will be identified through interviews with the protected areas' staff and local people. Large cats will be captured and followed by telemetry to allow determination of their patterns of activity and space use. The vegetation types of the areas used by the cats will be identified by interpretation of aerial photographs associated with field work. The same methods will be applied to sites, in the surrounding of the protected areas, which may be important to form corridors among them. (AU)

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