Pantanal – Calling Jaguars

music
ambience: Esturrador, jaguar calling device

We’re in the Pantanal region of Brazil, listening to someone attempting to attract a jaguar by using a traditional device that imitates its call. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

“Well the jaguar is a top predator, and it’s the largest carnivore in Brazil.”

Biologist Leandro Silveira has been tracking jaguars in Brazil’s Pantanal, one of the few regions in the world with a healthy resident jaguar population.

“It is pretty difficult to see jaguars in the wild — they’re very secretive animals. We end up doing a lot of detective work. We have to learn to read evidence left in the wild. We scan the large areas in looking for tracks. We set up camera traps where the animals can be photographed by interpreting infrared beam and getting automatic photograph of themselves. And by looking at the jaguar spots – each individual has unique code pattern – we identify individuals, and then we can estimate how many individuals are using the area. We collect feces found in trails. We look out for kills, and we usually use vultures to help us find fresh kills. And then we identify what kill or which species, what age. We also capture them, tranquilize them and put on radio collars. The radio collars permit us to find where they are twenty-four hours a day, if we need to, for periods of up to three years. And that allows us to get information of their movement, of their daily activity. And in case if they die, there’s a different signal in the collar and we – we can find it once and see what cause the death.”

We’ll hear the sounds of a real jaguar in our next program. Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Pantanal - Calling Jaguars

Natural clues and gimmickry are all in a days work for studying jaguars in the wild.
Air Date:08/05/2009
Scientist:
Transcript:


music
ambience: Esturrador, jaguar calling device

We're in the Pantanal region of Brazil, listening to someone attempting to attract a jaguar by using a traditional device that imitates its call. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

"Well the jaguar is a top predator, and it’s the largest carnivore in Brazil."

Biologist Leandro Silveira has been tracking jaguars in Brazil's Pantanal, one of the few regions in the world with a healthy resident jaguar population.

"It is pretty difficult to see jaguars in the wild -- they’re very secretive animals. We end up doing a lot of detective work. We have to learn to read evidence left in the wild. We scan the large areas in looking for tracks. We set up camera traps where the animals can be photographed by interpreting infrared beam and getting automatic photograph of themselves. And by looking at the jaguar spots - each individual has unique code pattern - we identify individuals, and then we can estimate how many individuals are using the area. We collect feces found in trails. We look out for kills, and we usually use vultures to help us find fresh kills. And then we identify what kill or which species, what age. We also capture them, tranquilize them and put on radio collars. The radio collars permit us to find where they are twenty-four hours a day, if we need to, for periods of up to three years. And that allows us to get information of their movement, of their daily activity. And in case if they die, there’s a different signal in the collar and we - we can find it once and see what cause the death."

We'll hear the sounds of a real jaguar in our next program. Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation I'm Jim Metzner.

music