Jaguars will soon be severely threatened Today’s Video of the Day from the Queensland University of Technology describes how climate change may impact the jaguar, the dominant predator of Central and South America.
According to the research, jaguars in the Peruvian Amazon will be able to handle climate change in the short-term, but could become severely threatened as extreme weather events increasingly interfere with food resources.
“Estimates of jaguar numbers are difficult to achieve because the big cats are cryptic by nature, are not always uniquely identifiable, and their habitat can be hostile to humans,” explained study co-author Professor Kerrie Mengersen.
The investigation was focused on data from a 2016 expedition to the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, which covers 20,800 square kilometers in the Loreto region of the Peruvian Amazon.
Professor Kevin Burrage explained that the predicted outcomes for the jaguars were concerning in the long-term.
“Our results imply that jaguars can cope with extreme drought and flood, but there is a very high probability that the population will crash if the conditions are repeated over short time periods. These scenarios are becoming more likely due to climate change,” said Professor Burrage.
“The declines may be further exacerbated by hunting of both jaguars and their prey, as well as loss of habitat through deforestation.”
Video Credit: QUT Media
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer