PhD Candidate; National University of Tucumán, Argentina
Location: Semi-arid Chaco of Argentina
Research: Ecology and Conservation of the jaguar and the puma in the Argentine semi-arid Chaco: Influence of prey availability and human presence in the region
Species/Topic: Jaguar (Panthera onca), Puma (Puma concolor), and their prey species
Abstract: The jaguar has suffered a severe population decline. Research on jaguars in the Argentine Chaco is extremely limited, and the information vacuum has created an obstacle for conservation efforts. The puma is apparently more adaptable to human presence, but research is lacking on its ecology in this region, too. The general objective of this proposal is to study the ecology of the jaguar and the puma in the Argentine Chaco, including distribution, density, prey availability and sympatric relations between the two species. I will compare three sites in the semi-arid Chaco of Argentina with different levels and types of human interference, determining the principal conservation problems facing these species in the region. For 2010, I will work in the third site in northwestern Formosa. With this information, I will generate the first guidelines for a jaguar and puma management plan in the Argentine semi-arid Chaco.