Protection and stabilization of jaguar population in the middle course of the Rio Caura



Mgr. Jiří Guth (Ministry of Environment, Vršovická 65, 100 10, Praha 10, tel. 602-682902, e-mail: guth@env.cz)

RNDr. František Sedláček, CSc. (UEK AV ČR, Na Sádkách, České Budějovice, tel .38-7772258, e-mail: sedlacek@uek.cas.cz)


Project duration:

8 years (stages I through III: 3, 2 and 3 years, respectively)


Total proposed budget for the three stages:

CZK 2,690,000 (CZK 890,000; 1,080,000; and 720,000, respectively)


Principal objectives of the project:

The long-term objective is to set up a jaguar refuge in the middle course of the Rio Caura; to design, discuss and enact a mode for protecting the jaguar population that is in accordance with the local inhabitants’ economic and social development interests (hunting, animal raising, collecting, growing, environmentally friendly tourism etc.). The jaguar is a type of “umbrella species” – regarding its needs and its role in the ecosystem. It can be expected that caring for its living conditions will guarantee the protection of a substantial part of the current biodiversity, primarily on the ecosystem level and, in part, on the species level.

The first stage (analytic) will focus on gathering knowledge about the area (geomorphology, hydrology, landscape cover, vegetation), and on the exploration of the local jaguar population. The methods used will include: a study of existing literature, field exploration (including radio probes) and remote exploration of the Earth. Also a “management catalog” will be provided – an overview of current and potential economic activities in the area, affecting its biodiversity in general, as well as specifically the jaguar population. The research will also include a study on the perception of large predators by individual ethnic groups in relation to their way of life and mythology.

            The second, synthetic, stage will examine possible interactions of human activities and the jaguar, propose possible “ecosystem limits”, and most importantly, involve all participants (stakeholders) in the preparation of an integrated plan of sustainable development for the territory. The principal, although not the only, indicator of sustainability will be the jaguar population count.

            We describe the third stage as implementation – it will involve primarily the enforcement of the integrated plan, namely of the proposed principles for protection of the jaguar (or, better yet, living with the jaguar) and monitoring of the efficiency of measures adopted.


Project description:

The long-term objective is to set up a refuge for the jaguar on the middle course of the Rio Caura. The involved area is to span thousands of km2: an individual jaguar’s territory spans dozens of km2, and there are dozens of jaguars within this area. Based on different modes of economy/care, the territory will be zoned with respect to a practical, formal and administrative solution.


Stage I., approx. 2003-2005, analysis


Literature search:

a) Species’ biology, genetics – the inheritance of the black form, species’ position within the ecosystem, the production aspect!

b) Characteristics of the site and/or landscape, current development of land use and land cover, fragmentation

c) Legal, administrative and official conditions for possible territory-based protection.


Field research:

a) Summary of the biodiversity, primarily on the species and ecosystem level, definitely including vertebrata and vascular plants, plus other selected groups.

b) Population and ethological study of the jaguar (cf. Sedláček, F., Bufka, L., Fuchs, R., Heřman, M., Hruška, J., Šíma, M. 1992: Study of Population Density of the Northern Lynx and its Subsequent Development in the Šumava National Park and Adjacent Cultivated Landscape. Final Report, UKE ČSAV, České Budějovice.)

c) Ecosystem and production studies

d) Mapping biotopes – field calibration and verification of satellite results


Processing the results: summary of the knowledge about the biota and environment (including the list of known organism species and biotope map) –  “Environment Catalog“


Assumption: Concurrently, a “Management Catalog” of current and possible human activities in the area will be prepared (hunting, fruit growing/collection, wood lumbering, capybara raising, and tourism, including a “pad” for the development resulting from profit, healthcare etc.).



·        Publication in professional press

·        Conference in Ústí or Prague (2006 or upon opening the exhibition)


MAIN PARTNERS: BF JČU, BÚ AV ČR, Venezuelan biologists


Stage II., approx. 2006 – 2007, synthesis


·        Interaction study (possible problems and profits) of the natural environment vs. human activities

·        Producing “Integrated Plan for Sustainable Development” (of care and development)

·        Research: partial problems formulated within Phase I.

·        Monitoring (amendments to and update of the Environment Catalog)


Publication of applied research

The Integrated Plan for Sustainable Development itself


Phase III., approx. 2008 – 2010, implementation

·        Implementation of the plan, monitoring, reviews

·        Subsequent operation (“routine” J)



Possibly presentation at the Rio+20 or Johannesburg+10 world summit)



Framework budget (CZK thousand):


(Studies = salaries, books, maps, satellite photography, computers, rent, communication, travels and daily allowances, presentation; field = travels, salaries, daily allowances, equipment and other material, other services; negotiations = salaries, overheads, entertainment, travels of invited guests)









Stage I.



































Stage II.



































Stage III.








Approx. 240 a year