DE ANGELO Carlos Daniel
Participatory networks for large scale monitoring of large carnivores: pumas and jaguars of the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest
DE ANGELO, CARLOS; PAVIOLO, AGUSTÍN; RODE, DANIELA; CULLEN JR., LAURY; SANA, DENIS; ABREU, KAUÊ; DA SILVA, MARINA X.; BERTRAND, ANNE-SOPHIE; HAAG, TAIANA; LIMA, FERNANDO; RICIERI RINALDI, ALCIDES; FERNÁNDEZ, SIXTO; RAMÍREZ, FREDY; VELÁZQUEZ, MYRIAM; CORIO, CRISTIAN; HASSON, ESTEBAN; DI BITETTI, MARIO
CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS
Año: 2011 vol. 45 p. 534 - 534
Most large carnivores are secretive and endangered species, difficult to monitor through extensive areas. Participatory monitoring can be a useful tool for obtaining data across large areas and long time periods. Pumas Puma concolor and jaguars Panthera onca are the largest predators in the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest (UPAF) which is one of the planets most endangered eco-regions. To survey the presence of these carnivores we constructed a participatory network and a collaborative effort among researchers of the three countries that share the UPAF (Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay). We trained the participants with simple methods to collect faeces and tracks from large felids. Between 2002 and 2008, >100 volunteers worked on this monitoring obtaining 1633 records accurately identified as pumas or jaguars along ~92,890 km2. We confirmed jaguar presence in a large section of the Misiones Green Corridor in Argentina, and in the largest protected areas of Brazil and Paraguay. Pumas showed a wider distribution, being recorded throughout Misiones province in Argentina and some areas of Brazil and Paraguay where jaguars were not detected. Both species, but mainly jaguars, were mostly detected in medium and large forest fragments, indicating that habitat loss has seriously affected these species in the UPAF. Though these carnivores often have conflicts with local settlers, their charisma and cultural significance makes them flagship species that motivated the participation of volunteers and institutions. Participatory monitoring allowed covering a vast area at relatively low costs, while enhancing collaborative management policies among people and institutions from three different countries.