The jaguar (Panthera onca) is a near-threatened species (IUCN 2010) and has suffered a 54% reduction of historic range (Rabinowitz & Zeller 2010). This species was formerly found from the southwestern United States down through Patagonia; today, the range has contracted to northern Mexico through northern Argentina. Proactive conservation efforts spearheaded by the Panthera Corporation now focus on establishing a range-wide corridor network. The main goal of the corridor network is to restore and maintain genetic connectivity between otherwise fragmented populations (Sanderson et al. 2005; Rabinowitz & Zeller 2010). Current research must therefore focus upon the characteristics of jaguar populations, the identification of sources versus sinks, and the human activities that impact them.

Project Title: Population Persistence of Jaguar (Panthera onca) in the Brasilian Pantanal

This project aims to quantify population vital rates in sites of differing land use and human pressures—namely, a protected national park and a working cattle ranch. A habitat-based population viability analysis (PVA) will be developed from these data, and allow for inter-site comparisons in population characteristics. This study will use a combination of non-invasive field surveys, GPS-collared animals and genetic techniques to obtain demographic data necessary to develop the PVA. Genetic and demographic data will be coupled to strengthen inferences on dispersal, as well as inter- and intro-population reproductive rates. The reproductive data will be used to identify source versus sink populations, while the PVA will be used to explore probable future scenarios under alternative management techniques (Quigley & Crawshaw 1992).

Location: Fazenda São Bento & Pantanal National Park, Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brasil

Timeline: 2010 – 2014

Field participants:
SUNY-ESF: Allison Devlin (Ph.D. Candidate)
CENAP / ICMBio: Dr. Peter Crawshaw (Senior Ecologist); Dr. Joares May (Veterinarian); Dr. Selma Onuma (Veterinarian)
Panthera: Dr. Howard Quigley (Jaguar Program Director); Dr. Rafael Hoogesteijn (Jaguar Program Special Advisor)
Federal University of Mato Grosso: Fernando Tortato (M.Sc. Candidate)

Principal Investigators:
Allison Devlin, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Dr. Jacqueline Frair, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Dr. James Gibbs, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Dr. Luke Hunter, Panthera Corporation

Kaplan Graduate Student Award (Panthera Corporation)

Allison Devlin, Ph.D. Candidate, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, NY 13210 USA,


For more information:


  • International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010.2.
  • Quigley, H.B. & P.G. Crawshaw. 1992. A Conservation Plan for the Jaguar (Panthera onca) in the Pantanal Region of Brazil. Biological Conservation 61: 149-157.
  • Rabinowitz, A.R. & K.A. Zeller. 2010. A Range-Wide Model of Landscape Connectivity and Conservation for the Jaguar (Panthera onca). Biological Conservation 143(4): 939-945.
  • Sanderson, E.W., K.H. Redford, C.L.B. Chetkiewicz, R.A. Medellin, A.R. Rabinowitz, J.G. Robinson & A.B. Taber. 2002. Planning to Save a Species: the Jaguar as a Model. Conservation Biology 16(1): 58-72.