Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Jaguar Spotted In Central Mexico For First Time In 100 Years

Date:
February 11, 2009
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
The jaguar (Panthera onca) has become an animal in danger of extinction over recent decades, due to the fragmentation and deterioration of its habitat, as well as hunting and illegal animal smuggling. As a result of this vulnerability, no individuals have been seen in the centre of Mexico since the start of the 20th Century. However, Mexican and Spanish scientists have now managed to photograph a male jaguar in this region.

One of the three photographs of the jaguar taken during the research project in the centre of Mexico.
Credit: Octavio Monroy-Vilchis et al / SINC

The jaguar Panthera onca  has become an animal in danger of extinction over recent decades, due to the fragmentation and deterioration of its habitat, as well as hunting and illegal animal smuggling. As a result of this vulnerability, no individuals have been seen in the centre of Mexico since the start of the 20th Century. However, Mexican and Spanish scientists have now managed to photograph a male jaguar in this region.

The lack of published records about the jaguar Panthera onca in the State of Mexico and concerns about whether this animal may have become extinct in the forests of the 674.10 km2 Sierra Nanchititla Natural Reserve led to researchers from the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) and the University of Alicante (UA) successfully seeking out and monitoring this feline.

The Mexican-Spanish research project, which has been published recently in The Southwestern Naturalist, includes the first documented recording of Panthera Onca in the centre of Mexico, in the Río Balsas river basin. "The photographs provide information about new recording sites, and allow us to deduce that the area where the animal was observed may be a corridor connecting jaguar populations," Octavio Monroy-Vilchis, lead author and a researcher at the UAEM, tells SINC.

The researchers carried out 86 interviews with inhabitants of villages near the study area between October 2002 and December 2004, as well as collecting feline dropping samples and installing automatic photographic detection systems.

"Even though not one of the interviews mentioned sightings of jaguars, we obtained three photographs of a male, and ten of the 132 excrement samples found have been attributed to the jaguar", says Monroy-Vilchis.

According to members of the local Wildlife Conservation Society, the general area of the Río Balsas river basin is a priority area for verifying the presence of jaguars, since this "could act as a corridor for them to move around".

The experts say there are 15 areas in which it is unknown whether these animals still exist, whether their populations are stable, and if their habitat is adequate. These areas are important for scientific studies, because they could include crucial zones for the felines' long-term survival.

The jaguar's habitat, a limited territory

Monitoring the largest feline in the Americas in the centre of Mexico meant the Mexican scientists had to travel 1,360 kilometres in search of clues and footprints. The Spanish researchers financed the cameras and analysed a total of 1,800 data events collected by them, which were placed in the Natural Reserve.

Of all this material, only three photographs deposited with the image library of mammals in the Sierra Nanchititla Biological Station (UAEM) showed a male individual.

Despite the photographs taken, the researchers themselves were unable to see the animal. "The lack of evidence highlights the fact that the jaguar is more elusive than other felines, and that its presence in the area is sporadic - possibly because it has access to other resources near to Michoacán and Guerrero," says Monroy-Vilchis.

The recording of this individual and the presence of excrement in a range of sites in the south east of the State of Mexico now mean its known range has been extended to 400 km to the south east of Arroyo Seco (Querétano), 27 km to the north east of Purísima de Arista, and 140 km to the north of Puerto del Gallo (Guerrero).

According to the scientists, the fact that the animal was captured on film at 1,845 metres "supports the theory that jaguars travel along the sides of mountains because their habitat has been fragmented by hunting and other human activities", says the scientist.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Monroy-Vilchis et al. Jaguar (Panthera onca) in the State of Mexico. The Southwestern Naturalist, 2008; 53 (4): 533 DOI: 10.1894/CJ-144.1

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Jaguar Spotted In Central Mexico For First Time In 100 Years." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210134448.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2009, February 11). Jaguar Spotted In Central Mexico For First Time In 100 Years. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210134448.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Jaguar Spotted In Central Mexico For First Time In 100 Years." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210134448.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — We all know that it is important to eat our fruits and vegetables but do you know which ones are the best for you? Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) — MIT researchers were able to change whether bad memories in mice made them anxious by flicking an emotional switch in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) — A study out of University at Buffalo claims couples who smoke marijuana are less likely to experience intimate partner violence. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) — A panda in China showed pregnancy symptoms that disappeared after two months of observation. One theory: Her pseudopregnancy was a ploy for perks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins