Earthwatch scientist Dr. Leandro Silveira researches the process of determining the habitat needs of iconic Brazilian jaguars, pumas, and maned wolves.
Why focus on wildlife of Brazil?
Says Dr. Silveira: “We are seeing our work have an outcome. Local community members and farmers have begun to understand that coexistence with wildlife on their land is possible when the desire for coexistence is there. Better still, they have started to put this understanding into practice, and some of them are among our strongest partners for regional biodiversity conservation. This project is about more than just learning the ecology or conserving wildlife: we are working to conserve the biological uniqueness of central Brazil.”
A great moment in the field:
“With the help of volunteers, we installed dozens of camera traps - with the resulting discovery of 10 individual jaguars new to the population - or at least to us. The presence of new individuals in the population is excellent news - it means that although the park we are studying is apparently largely isolated from other significant jaguar populations, recruitment of new individuals, in the form of immigration or birth, is taking place. This is absolutely vital for this small jaguar population to persist.”