Wild Cats of Brazil

Wild Cats of Brazil (WCB) is a research and conservation program from Instituto Pró Carnívoros, Universidade Estadual do Maranhão and Instituto Pampa. Wild Cats of Brazil works as an Umbrella Project having specific actions at sites throughout the country, working as a network and always following the same standards. It aims at the ecology and conservation of all small felid species found in Brazil. These include, ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), margay (Leopardus wiedii), northern tiger cat (Leopardus tigrinus), southern tiger cat (Leopardus guttulus), Pampas cat (Leopardus colocola), Geoffroy’s cat (Leopardus geoffroyi), and jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi). All species are being studied right now, and the study sites currently include Brazil’s most threatened biomes: Cerrado, Caatinga, Pampas, and Atlantic Rainforest.

In the past, research has focused on areas such as natural history, ecology, genetics, and diseases. Today, we focus on integrating ecological research and conservation, seeking to subsidize conservation actions for these cats at the local, regional and national levels. We are currently assessing density estimates and correlating them to area requirements and long-term viability of populations at both the local (Park level) and biomatic level. We are adjusting our conservation actions based on our results, which, for example, made us change our focus from poaching to disease threat from domestic dogs at one of our study sites. Conservation outreach and training of a new generation of conservationists are also currently on the highlight.

WCB findings include the first and some of the first published density and abundance estimates for these cats; range expansion of some of the species (being recorded in areas in which they were not known to exist before); genetic work that led to the split of the tiger cat into two species (Leopardus tigrinus and Leopardus guttulus); among many others. The discovery of new populations and unique ecological and evolutionary processes had great implications for species conservation and management. We have also contributed to Red List Status Assessments at the state, national and world levels. Furthermore, WCB has taken a key role in Brazil’s Small Cat Conservation Action Plan, and, for the first time in Brazil, a small cat is being used as a flagship species for a Park. You can find more details at our website.

The team is composed by a series of devoted cat specialists. The leading researchers are:

  • Alex Pereira
  • Bonifacio Soares
  • Fabio Dias Mazim
  • Felipe Peters
  • Joares May
  • Lyse Panelli
  • Marina Favarini
  • Rosane Marques
  • Tadeu Gomes de Oliveira

With Flávio Rodrigues and Rogério Cunha as research associates.

Other team members includes:

  • Breno Campelo
  • Diogo Gomes
  • Lester Fox-Rosales
  • Client tadeu4@yahoo.com
  • Date October 9, 2019
  • Tags Geoffroy’s Cat, Jaguarundi, Margay, Northern Tigrina, Ocelot, Pampas Cat, Southern Tigrina

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