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Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 45.2 (2022) Pages: 131-144

Spatial ecology of jaguar (Panthera onca) outside protected areas in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

González-Gallina, A., Equihua, M., Pérez-Garduza, F., Iglesias-Hernández, J. A., Oliveras de Ita, A., Chacón-Hernández, A., Vázquez-Zúñiga, O., Hidalgo-Mihart, M. G.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2022.45.0131

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Abstract

Jaguars (Panthera onca) are endangered in several countries and a priority species for conservation action. Despite extensive research efforts in Mexico most studies have been associated with natural protected areas far from human habitation. Because protected areas are too few to conserve the jaguar population over the long–term, a landscape approach that includes both protected and unprotected lands is needed. This is the case in Quintana Roo State where an ecological corridor linking two protected areas (Yum Balam and Sian Ka'an) is at risk of disappearing due to tourism–driven activities. Between 2013 and 2015, four male jaguars were captured and monitored using satellite telemetry inside the corridor. The mean home range size (± SD) was 101.5 km2 (± 75.9 km22) for the dry season and 172 km2 (± 107.29 km2) for the rainy season. The mean core area size (± SD) was 17.54 km2 (± 16.21 km2) for the dry season and 29.07 km22 (± 16.19 km2) for the rainy season. No significant seasonal differences were found for home ranges or for core areas. As expected, we observed that jaguars preferred forest or young secondary growth over profusely disturbed areas, using whatever vegetation was available in their home ranges. Although it is not protected, a biological corridor linking Yum Balam and Sian Ka'an still holds its own jaguar population, a population that has learned to coexist with human presence. Conservation actions are recommended at landscape level to maintain what remains of tropical mature forest and to promote the development of long–term secondary growth into close tree canopy.

Keywords

Conservation, Corridor, Home range, Habitat use, Non–protected

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González-Gallina, A., Equihua, M., Pérez-Garduza, F., Iglesias-Hernández, J. A., Oliveras de Ita, A., Chacón-Hernández, A., Vázquez-Zúñiga, O., Hidalgo-Mihart, M. G., 2022. Spatial ecology of jaguar (Panthera onca) outside protected areas in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 45: 131-144, DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2022.45.0131

Reception date:

11/01/2021

Acceptation date:

19/04/2022

Publication date:

06/05/2022

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