A study by the Brazilian conservation authority Cenap indicated the adult jaguar population in the region may have fallen to just 250, “an 80 percent slide over the past 15 years.”
And just a fifth of the remaining jaguars are of reproductive age, the study asserted.
The ‘Mata Atlantica’ or Atlantic forest ecosystem, home to unique species and comprising a variety of tropical forest habitats, has itself lost more than 90 percent of its original volume over the centuries.
It once made up more than 1.2 million square kilometers (463,300 square miles)—roughly 25 percent of the Amazon region and around 15 percent of Brazilian territory.
But deforestation, ranching and increased urbanization have seen that shrink to just 28,600 square kilometers, according to the SOS Mata Atlantica Foundation.
The habitat loss puts pressure on the jaguars both in terms of seeking food sources and from hunting. Agricultural workers will, for example, not hesitate to kill a jaguar if it has eaten a cow, biologist Pedro Galetti told Folha.
Read more at: Phys.org