U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Cavalcanti, S. M. C., S. Marchini, A. Zirnmerrnann, E. M. Gese, and D. W. Macdonald. 2010. Jaguars, livestock and people in Brazil: realities and perceptions behind the conflict. Pages 383-402 in The biology and conservation of wild felids. Edited by D. Macdonald and A. Loveridge. Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom.


The jaguar (Panthera onca) is the largest predator in the Neotropics and is arguably the most charismatic species for .conservation in Central and South America. Regrettably, the jaguar is also the carnivore that is least compatible with humans in twenty-first century Brazil. This fundamental incompatibility is due to the jaguar's need for abundant, large prey, as well as extensive, undisturbed habitat. Humans (also large, top predators) have competed directly with jaguars for food (i.e. native and domestic ungulates) for as long as they have coexisted (Jorgenson and Redford 1993), and lately threaten them directly and indirectly through deforestation and habitat fragmentation. Moreover, jaguar predation on livestock (particularly cattle) (Fig. 17.1) provokes retaliatory persecution by humans (Hoogesteijn and Mondolfi 1992).