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


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Mammalogy, 90(4):935–945, 2009.


The Pantanal of Brazil is an important area for the conservation of jaguars (Panthera onca). As the size of traditional large ranches in the Pantanal decreases, human access to jaguar habitat increases, resulting in human-altered landscapes that may influence patterns of resource selection and space use by jaguars. We used global positioning system radiocollars to study jaguars in the southern Pantanal. We radiocollared 10 jaguars (6 males and 4 females), obtained 11,787 locations, and examined their space use, movement rates, and social interactions between October 2001 and April 2004. Estimates of 90% kernel home ranges varied among animals and seasons (range: 34.1–262.9 km2). Core areas (50% isopleth) of both females and males did not differ in size between seasons, but home ranges (90% isopleth) during the dry season were generally larger than during the wet season. The stability of home ranges varied among seasons and individuals. Some females maintained ≥80% of their home ranges from 1 season to the next, whereas other females used ≤50% of their home ranges from the previous season. Site fidelity within individual home ranges also varied; ≥70% of the core areas of some females were located in different sites within their home ranges during different seasons. Locations of females suggested a pattern of spatial avoidance among females during the wet season. Home-range overlap among males was extensive, both in the wet and dry seasons, suggesting that males did not maintain exclusive ranges. Overlap between males and females occurred both in the wet and dry seasons, and movements by females were not restricted within the ranges of individual males. Jaguars were located <200 m apart more often than expected, suggesting some degree of sociality. The reproductive profiles of females suggested either a low conception rate, a low survival rate of young, or that jaguars may be more social than previously thought. Interactions among males also suggested some degree of sociality.