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New altitudinal records of Panthera onca (Carnivora: Felidae) in the Andean region of Ecuador

, , Fabián Rodas, Byron Puglla, Rodrigo Cisneros
Published: 15 December 2021

Abstract: We report two records of jaguars (Panthera onca) registered with camera traps at 2300 and 2660 m a.s.l. in the Ecuadorian Andes, which represent the first verifiable records of the species above 2000 m in Ecuador. As the first records of jaguars from Río Negro-Sopladora National Park and Tapichalaca Reserve, these records raise important questions about the species’ ecology and conservation in Andean montane forests. From a regional perspective, these records may indicate connectivity between jaguar populations inhabiting both sides of the Andes. Sustained monitoring of wildlife populations is necessary to discern the significance of these records and help develop strategies to ensure the conservation of this highly mobile species across the increasingly fragmented Andean-Amazonian landscapes of southern Ecuador.
Keywords: altitudinal range / montane forest / Río Negro-Sopladora National Park / Sangay-Podocarpus Connectivity Corridor / Tapichalaca Reserve

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