Form Submission: Participation Entry

Abstract: 
Conservation has historically focused on the creation of areas protected against human impact under the assumption that this would improve wildlife survival. An important next step is to see if that assumption is appropriate. The Madidi National Protected Area (MNPA) in the Bolivian Amazon safeguards many species of concern, among them the jaguar (Panthera onca). The MNPA is divided into different management categories that allow varying degrees of human activity. We used camera trapping methods to calculate the occupancy of jaguar under two of these categories to assess whether the increased restrictions on human activity had a measurable impact. We also modeled jaguar occupancy in relation to other environmental factors to consider alternative dynamics that may influence jaguar numbers. This information will allow managers and conservationists to make informed planning decisions about how best to maintain healthy populations, and those decisions may not involve the exclusion of people.