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The Llanos Jaguar

Balam Offline
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The Llanos (Orinoco plains)

Wide grasslands stretching across northern South America and occupying western Venezuela and northeastern Colombia. The Llanos have an area of approximately 220,000 square miles (570,000 square km), delimited by the Andes Mountains to the north and west, the Guaviare River and the Amazon River basin to the south, and the lower Orinoco River and the Guiana Highlands to the east. Britannica Encyclopedia.


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Landscape and Fauna:


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Neil Palmer

Tuparro National Park, Colombia


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Carolina H


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Rodrigo Gaviria

Hato El Cedral, Venezuela


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barloventomagico

Hato la Aurora, Colombia


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Alejandro Calderón


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Alfonso Giraldo

Characteristics of the Llanos jaguar:

Excerpt from BODY MASS AND SKULL MEASUREMENTS IN FOUR JAGUAR POPULATIONS AND OBSERVATIONS ON THEIR PREY BASE
by Rafael Hoogesteijn and Edgardo Mondolfi

The third sample consists of jaguars from the Llanos or floodplains of Venezuela (Hoogesteijn and Mondolfi 1993b, this study). The Llanos of Venezuela is a large, low lying savanna region that comprises much of the northern and western regions of the Orinoco River drainage basin in Venezuela and Colombia (Thorbjarnarson 1991). The jaguar population inhabiting this region is currently included in the same subspecies as the Amazon jaguar (P. onca onca).

The sex difference for the Llanos is 56%. Also the differences for skull measurements between males and females were greater for the Llanos (between 17 and 19%) compared with the other groups, where differences oscillated between 10% and 13%. There is apparently a higher degree of sexual dimorphism in the Llanos population than elsewhere.

A sample of six stomach contents from the Llanos of Venezuela gave an estimated MWVP of 98 kg, including domestic stock (Mondolfi and Hoogesteijn 1986). A larger sample (18 stomach contents) from the same area gave an MWVP value of 50 kg, where cattle remains occurred in 56 percent ofthe sample (Hoogesteijn and Mondolfi 1993a, b).

Today, the largest jaguars persist in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso (P. onca paraguensis) and the Llanos of Venezuela (P. onca onca), both foodplain areas (the Llanos nearer to the Equator) that are widely, separated but possess some similar ecological features. Both are flooded 5 -6 months of the year, covered in part with extensive gallery and semideciduous forests and have to a certain extent a similar preybase (Schaller and Crawshaw 1980; Crawshaw and Quigley 1991; Hoogesteijn and Mondolfi 1993a). 

Some questions arise regarding the size reduction that this felid underwent from the Pleistocene to the present and the actual large sizes of individuals from the two floodplain populations. These larger jaguars could represent descendants that maintained their larger size due to the better feeding conditions in the floodplain. On the other hand, local populations could have become bigger from the year 1,600 A.D. onwards, with the introduction of plentiful and vulnerable prey such as feral cattle, calves and horse foals. These prey constitute a sizable part of their diet; cattle constituted 38,48 and 56% of stomach contents or kills in three studies, two in the Pantanal and one in the Llanos (Hoogesteijn and Mondolfi 1993b). These changes in size show the great adaptability of this efficient predator of the neotropical forest vertebrates. 

Most current studies relate jaguars to forested areas, but at the beginning of this century, with less human encroachment, jaguars still lived in open areas, like the Argentinean Pampas, where they sought cover in the high grass patches near lagoons and streams, areas practically devoid of forests (Canevari 1983). Also, jaguars lived in the lower Llanos areas where only small strips of gallery forests at the edge of rivers and temporary streams existed between enormous savanna expanses (Hoogesteijn and Mondolfi 1993b). In both places, due to the lack of extensive cover, they were easily exterminated.

Male from Venezuela


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Roger Manrique

Colombian males from Hato La Aurora, where the largest and most intense jaguar tracking and studying is taking place in the region


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Female from the Tuparro National Park


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Jaguar of unknown sex killed in the department of Vichada, Colombia in the 1960's


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Sub-adult male killed in Vichada as a retaliatory attack for killing livestock


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By Ruperto Herrera-Fundación Omacha. 
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( This post was last modified: 11-12-2020, 09:59 PM by Balam )

Context for the photos of the previous post:

Characteristics of jaguar (Panthera onca) attacks on livestock and economic evaluation of losses in livestock farms in the Eastern Plains (Vichada, Colombia)


Excerpt from CONFLICTOS ENTRE FELINOS Y HUMANOS EN AMÉRICA LATINA.Serie Editorial Fauna Silvestre Neotropical. (pp.89-102)Chapter: 5Publisher: Instituto HumboldtEditors: Carlos Castaño-Uribe, Carlos A. Lasso, Rafael Hoogesteijn, Angélica Diaz-Pulido y Esteban Payán


INTRODUCTION 

Conflict with humans is the leading cause of mortality and population decline for many species of large carnivores (Woodroffe and Ginsberg 1998). Episodes of predation on domestic livestock cause economic losses that can be very significant, generating high levels of hostility in ranchers, which leads to the persecution and elimination of carnivores (Zimmerman et al. 2005). This persecution has made species such as the tiger (Panthera tigris), the lion (Panthera leo), the puma (Puma concolor) or the jaguar (Panthera onca) disappear from a large part of their original range (Nowell and Jackson 1996 , Linnell et al. 2001, Rodríguez et al. 2006). The jaguar (Panthera onca) has been one of the most persecuted mammals due to its large size and the beauty of its skin (Hoogesteijn and Mondolfi 1991). Currently, one of the main threats that limit the distribution of jaguar populations is mortality as a result of hunting, either in retaliation for predating on livestock, direct persecution due to fear, occasional encounters or commercial hunting (Weber and Rabinowitz 1996, Zeller 2007) Currently, there are several geographical regions in Colombia, where its economy revolves around agricultural activities such as extensive cattle ranching, as is the case of the Orinoquia. 

The department of Vichada as part of the Orinoquia is one of the regions in which the growth of the agricultural and livestock sector has been notable, increasing in recent decades livestock (Viloria de la Hoz 2009) and agro-industrial ( IAvH 2003). However, despite this situation, it still presents a low level of human intervention corresponding to 7.74% (Romero et al. 2004) and for 2004 the basins of the Bita, Tomo and Tuparro rivers maintained between 85 and 95% of their ecosystems intact (Romero et al. 2004). With this background, it seems reasonable that until now the loss or alteration of habitat has not been a significant threat to populations. of jaguar of this region. However, there are vast areas dedicated to livestock, where jaguars coexist in proximity with livestock, and where episodes of predation occur. As a consequence, the rancher has the policy of hunting down and eliminating jaguars that are within the limits of his property (Garrote 2012), which makes the conflict with the ranchers possibly the main threat of the jaguar in Vichada. Given this level of conflict, this species was prioritized in 2008 with others in a management plan for threatened species in the El Tuparro Biosfera Reserve (Trujillo et al. 2008). 

The jaguar is listed as Near Threatened at the international level (Caso et al. 2008) and at the national level it is considered Vulnerable (Rodríguez et al. 2006, Resolution 0192 of 2014). Knowing the characteristics that define the jaguar-man conflict in a given geographic area is essential to undertake measures that can effectively mitigate the conflict. The objective of this work was then to generate the necessary information to identify the factors that characterize the attacks of jaguars on livestock in the department of Vichada, including the assessment of the economic losses associated with these attacks. 

MATERIAL AND METHODS 

Study area Study area included 48 properties located on the Meta river basins, Bita and Orinoco (06 ° 11'16''N and 67 ° 28'23''W), in the municipalities of La Primavera and Puerto Carreño in the department of Vichada, in the extreme eastern part of Colombia (Figure 1). The habitats that dominate the landscape matrix are open grasslands, wooded and shrub savannas, floodplain and gallery forests and to a lesser extent forest plantations and technified savannas with introduced grasses. 

Field phase: The field work was developed in three phases. The first was carried out between the months of January 2006 to March 2007 and the objective was to identify the factors that characterize jaguar attacks on cattle in the study area. The information was obtained by conducting interviews with farm owners or workers livestock that had recorded these events. The survey was divided into three components: 

1) General information on the farm, 
2) General information on the types of domestic livestock on the farms, 
3) Characteristics of feline predation on livestock. 

In this phase, 43 interviews were conducted, reporting a total of 26 jaguar attacks on domestic livestock in 14 farms throughout 2006. The second phase comprised the years 2010 and 2012, and the third phase was carried out between the months of December 2015 to July 2016. In these phases, In addition to obtaining information about the characteristics of the attacks, a greater effort was made to characterize some parameters related to livestock management in the study areas and to assess the economic impact of jaguar attacks. The survey was divided into five components: 1) general information about the property; 2) general information on the types of domestic livestock; 3) livestock management and trade; 4) feline predation on livestock and 5) hunting of wild animals. Between phases two and three, 32 properties were visited.


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RESULTS 

Characteristics of livestock: 

The information regarding the characteristics of livestock was obtained in the second and third phase of the work.

Extension and Property Purpose: 

The extension of the 32 farms ranged between 20 and 9,800 ha, although the vast majority (n = 24) were less than 1,000ha. The number of permanent workers on the farm ranged from one to eight people, but most of the farms counted between one and three (n = 25). Livestock activity was developed in all the farms, being the main productive activity in 30 of the 32 farms. 87.5% of the farms (n = 28) had livestock for breeding stock, 9.4% (n = 3) for fattening (fattening) and 3.1% (n = 1) for milk production. The total cattle herd of the study area consisted of a total of 9111 head of cattle among cattle (78.2%, n = 7128), pigs (17.6%, n = 1600) and horses (4.2%, n = 383). 71.9% (n = 23) of the farms are dedicated to the commercialization of some type of livestock (Figure 2). The remaining 28.1% (n = 9) of the farms that did not commercialize had livestock as a form of savings. In some of the farms develop a second productive activity, such as agriculture (44%) and forestry (22%). In general, the management of livestock production on the farms was not very intensive, only two farms implemented improved pastures (Brachiaria sp.) To feed the cattle while in the rest the cattle were fed in the natural savannas and morichales. Currently, the use of water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) are being implemented, which make a differential use of the landscape, grazing in the savannah and riparian wetlands associated with the floodplains of the rivers and bathing in the caños and mori- shawls (Figure 3). Regarding the veterinary management of the animals, in all the farms cattle were vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease and brucellosis, in 84.3% of the farms they were dewormed, only a third carried out veterinary checks biannual or annual. Reproductive management in general was quite poor. Only in 29.6% of the farms carried out a control on the calving season and only in five farms (15.6%) did the cattle reproduce exclusively in the corral or in paddocks near the houses (Figure 4). In all the farms the cattle drank in the streams and rivers. Only 37.5% (n = 12) of the farms had drinking fountains for livestock. Only 15.6% (n = 5) took anti-predatory measures: lock up cattle during the day (6.3%, n = 2), lock up cattle at night (3.1%, n = 1 ), location of traps (3.1%, n = 1) and hunt them (3.1%, n = 1 :).


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Causes of cattle loss: 

The main cause of loss of livestock in the surveyed farms was prepartum deaths. This cause is responsible for 30.8% of all total losses (Figure 5). Predation is the next most important cause, followed by theft, loss and other causes of less impact. 

Characteristics of the attacks: The results presented below on characteristics of the attacks of the jaguar on domestic livestock, are composed of the information pickup in all phases of fieldwork, exposed jointly.

Prey selection: 

The jaguar preyed a total of 136 individuals of the various species of domestic livestock, which implies an average value of 2.8 individuals preyed annually per farm. Most of the predated animals consisted of pigs, the predation rate on cattle and horses being much lower (Figure 6). When comparing the predation rates for each type of livestock with the percentage of available animals (Figure 7), it is observed that pigs are selected positively compared to other types of livestock. The selection of the jaguar by pigs is statistically significant (X² = 281.8, df = 1, p <0.0001). In relation to the age classes of the predated animals, 76.4% of the individuals were less than one year old. Considering the cattle herd as a whole, the total annual losses as a consequence of predation were only 1.5%.

Location of the attacks:

The location of the attacks (forest or savanna) was established on 35 occasions. The attacks located inside the forest (77.1%, n = 27) were higher than those located in the savanna (22.8%, n = 8). The spatial pattern of the detected attacks differs significantly from that expected depending on the availability of habitats in the study area (X² = 13.8, df = 1, p <0.0001).

Time of the year:

The time of year in which more attacks occurred was the transition from high waters to low waters (months 10-12; 38.1%; Figure 8), followed by the low water season (months 01-03; 28 , 6%), transition to high waters (months 04-06; 17.1%), and finally the time of transition from low waters to high waters (months 07-09; 16.2%). 
Mortality: On farms in The ones that were able to obtain data about the death of jaguars in retaliation for the predation on livestock, it was found that in slightly less than half of the occasions (43%) the cattle ranchers claimed to have sacrificed the individual jaguar as a measure of retaliation (Figure 9). In the other farms, the answer was do not know or no answer (DK / NA), which probably means that the actual mortality was even higher. Economic losses as a consequence of the attacks to assess the economic losses caused by the jaguar, an average monetary value was assigned to each category of cattle (type and age class). The economic losses were multiplied by the number of predated animals for each category. The total economic losses for the forty-eight farms that received attacks during the study phases amounted to $ 35,533,357 COP. This means an average loss of $ 740,278 (233 US) per farm. However, the range varied between $ 66,667 (21 US) in the case of the farm with the lowest losses and $ 4,711,110 (1,484 US) in which the losses were higher.

Discussion:

Characteristics of the attacks and their relationship with livestock management: In general and as has been the case since livestock arrived in the department of Vichada, it continues to be extensive where livestock graze freely in the areas to feed themselves. savannas, and is subject to very little management and control in most cases. Despite this, the mortality of cattle as a consequence of the attacks of jaguar, it is only 1.5% of the total of the cattle herd, and is the second cause of loss of livestock causing 20% of all annual losses. The results obtained in relation to the causes of livestock loss in the studied livestock productions coincide with other studies (Hoogesteijn and Hoogesteijn 2011, Garrote 2012, Castaño et al. 2015, Hoogesteijn et al. 2015), which identified as the main cause of loss of domestic livestock due to the lack of management implementation, which causes death events in prepartum. 

Annual economic loss on farms where jaguar attacks have ranged from $ 66,667 (233 US) to $ 4,711,110 (1,484 US). In the case of the larger farms, with higher production, these losses are proportionally low, however, for the small farms with lower productions the economic impact is greater, and can become really important in the case of multiple attacks, where the Losses are greater. Jaguar attacks on livestock occur mostly in the lowering / retreating season, followed by the dry season. These results are attributable to different factors. On the one hand, livestock management that favors the concentration of births in the rainy season to take advantage of the pasture, causes a peak of predation in the following months (Palmeira et al. 2008); and on the other, the decrease in the availability of some of its main prey in the rainy season (chigüiros and caimán) offset by an increase in the accessibility of cattle for the jaguar during the withdrawal of waters (Cavalcanti and Gese 2010). The fluctuation of the water level is decisive in this type of ecosystems, conditioning the mobility and use of space of predators such as the jaguar (Crawshaw and Quigley 1991, Scogla-millo et al. 2002) and the availability and vulnerability of prey, including domestic species (Cavalcanti and Gese 2010). In the dry season, the cattle stay longer in the vicinity of the riparian forests, with greater vegetation cover, cooler and with permanent water sources (González-Maya et al. 2012, Castaño-Uribe et al. 2015). These areas are the habitats where the jaguar lives and where the animals are most vulnerable to predators. It is in these forest habitats that most attacks occur. 

This pattern is not only unique to jaguars. A similar situation exists with the African lion (Panthera leo), which uses patches of vegetation to prey on domestic livestock and also permanent waterways to hunt during dry seasons (Patterson et al. 2004). Selection of jaguars by the wooded areas versus savanna areas to prey on domestic livestock, added to the differences in the behavior of the different domestic species present in the study area, seems to be the cause of the preference of the jaguar for livestock pigs versus cattle. Pigs spend most of their time with little or no surveillance feeding and resting in the interior of gallery forests and morichales, where they frequently breed and feed on palm fruits. Although cattle can sometimes be located within the forest, they tend to graze in the savannah, further from the forest boundary, being less accessible to the jaguar and therefore presenting the lowest attack rates. It has been possible to verify how approximately half of the predation episodes in our study area resulted in the death of the jaguar by farmers. These types of practices have historically been implemented in the region and become more acute as colonization fronts advance towards new inhospitable areas far from urban centers. 

Conservation proposals for the effective development of adequate strategies for the conservation of the jaguar populations in Vichada, it is essential to resolve, or at least reduce, conflicts with humans. An eventual reduction in attacks as a result of the application of effective anti-predatory measures could mitigate to a certain degree the animosity of the population towards the jaguar and the economic losses of livestock farms, one of the main actions generated by the measures. of retaliation. From the data obtained in this study, it can be deduced that the application of simple measures for the management of domestic livestock could significantly reduce the predation of the jaguar on it. Proposed anti-predatory measures would include: 

• Reducing the movement of cattle into forested areas 

• Collecting cattle at the end of the daily slaughter to place them in safe areas such as night pens or electrified paddocks 

• Preventing cattle from passing the night in the forest, streams and higher risk sites 

• Locate drinking troughs for domestic species in remote areas of the forest and, if possible, closer to homes, 

• Concentrate reproduction at the same time in order to have greater control of the offspring, the most vulnerable individuals 

• Control calvings so that they take place in controlled and clean pastures, away from wooded areas if possible, which in turn favors production and reduces losses due to other causes such as disease, miscarriage, malnutrition or due to floods, however, attacks on livestock are not the only factor at play in ending the life of a jaguar. 

Motivations for killing jaguars include not only the traditions and social recognition that killing a jaguar brings, but also fear and misconceptions of the threat jaguars pose to humans (Garrote 2012, Marchini chapter 19 of this volume). These ideas should lead to other approaches to reduce persecution which in turn depends on gradual changes in values, attitudes and social norms regarding jaguars and their persecution. Obviously, one of the ways to achieve these changes in values is through educational and awareness programs. However, ultimately it will be the economic circumstances that will largely define the degree of tolerance of the cattle ranchers regarding predation and the perception that the rest of the community has of the jaguar (Garrote 2012, Castaño-Uribe et al. al. 2015). The coexistence between humans and carnivores should have benefits for both, since only in this way is a long-term tolerance system sustainable (Hoogesteijn and Hoogesteijn 2005, Valderrama-Vásquez 2006, Payán et al. 2015). 

It is when communities obtain tangible economic returns that they assume their role as partners in conservation and become effective stewards of the environment (Jackson and Wangchuk 2001, Mishra et al. 2003). In view of the socio-political and environmental characteristics of the Vichada department and in order to reduce retaliation events and negative perception of the species, it is important to implement lines of action for the creation of sustainable economic alternatives such as promoting eco-tourism and agro-tourism. , parallel activities such as the promotion of the manufacture and sale of traditional handicrafts and environmental themes and the establishment of a program of "aid or incentives" to those farms adhering to conservation programs. However, for the creation and implementation of The introduction of these economic alternatives is necessary not only the initiative of the local sector, whose capacity for action is limited, but also a firm commitment to promote these actions by the regional and central government, national and international NGOs and trade unions. of producers.
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Female caught in camera trap, unknown department


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Credits to Panthera Colombia
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Female crossing the Bita river, Vichada


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Credits to NIMAJAY ECOHABS
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From the Buenaventura private reserve, Casanare, Col

Female


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Large male patrolling


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Mapire male, la Aurora


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Credits to la Aurora Reserve & Panthera
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Hope for Colombia's Jaguars ( forest and wetlands )

https://www.panthera.org/blog/2016/05/12...as-jaguars

May 12, 2016

For five months, I woke at sunrise alongside my team, which included Vice President Dr. George Schaller and Regional Director Dr. Esteban Payàn. In groups of two or three, we hiked or drove through the sweltering heat (and swarms of mosquitos) to install and check camera traps in order to learn more about Colombia’s jaguars.

We already know that jaguars play a key role in keeping Colombia’s landscapes healthy. We also know their numbers are declining because of habitat loss, conflict with people, and over-hunting of their prey. So how do we protect this big cat? First, we figure out where they are.


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As a wide-ranging species, jaguars don’t just require protected areas—they also need corridors connecting these areas so they can move freely between them. As Colombia’s agriculture and other developments grow, it becomes increasingly important that we understand how jaguars use these unprotected corridors.

To do so, we set up about 50 camera stations across 250 km2 in two areas of Colombia: the Magdalena River Valley and the Llanos region. These areas include forest and wetlands (prime jaguar habitat), but they are also home to cattle ranches and oil palm plantations.  

Our camera traps yielded a wealth of information. We saw new jaguars we hadn’t seen before and learned more about the habits and personalities of jaguars we knew. I was thrilled to see photos of individuals we first recorded in 2012, including a female who had cubs then and who I named Hope.

Ultimately, we found that landscapes containing a mixture of agriculture, forests, and wetlands harbor lower jaguar densities than pristine protected areas—but importantly, these partially developed areas can host resident jaguars and their offspring.


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With this baseline data—the first in Colombia outside of the Amazon—we can monitor jaguar populations across space and time, detect population declines, and respond with appropriate conservation actions. As agriculture expands, we’ll continue to collaborate with landowners and the local and national governments to ensure habitats are maintained and human-jaguar conflict is minimized.

Given its strategic position between Central and South America, Colombia is extremely important for jaguar conservation across all of Latin America. With the results of this study, we’re now even better equipped to protect this stunning big cat here and across its range.
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Flor de Mayo (May's Flower) large female, la Aurora


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Male with cattle kill, captured in 2015 in Cojedes, Venezuela. 
This jaguar pulled the cattle carcass 200 meters to eat with more tranquility, a real display of strength


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By Llanos de Cojedes
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Mother-cub dynamics between Totin young female, granddaughter of the matriarch Mariposa, and her daughter Lulu

Totin is the most photographed jaguar in the Hato la Aurora, a young female of around 3 years of age, famous for her videos involving the killing of a large anaconda and attempted predation on boar:





Totin and her cub Lulu, she's likely to follow the steps of her mother in becoming an expert hunter:



Lulu stalks a white-tailed doe and makes her first hunt:


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Males captured through camera trapping in el Padrote private reserve, Casanare, Colombia. 
Hopefully, Panthera will release more pictures of its camera trapping campaign in this reserve in the future:


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Credits to Vaqueros del Rio Pauto
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The dominant male, Caricare


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Credits to Panthera, Aurora Reserve & Cunaguaro
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Aurora male patrolling

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( This post was last modified: 11-16-2020, 10:08 PM by Balam )

(11-16-2020, 02:00 PM)Balam Wrote: Aurora male patrolling


More of this male named Mararay


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Mating with Totin female, dwarfing her


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Credits to Sebastian BC & Panthera
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