Maternal behavioural analysis during a successful captive breeding of jaguars Panthera onca

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Pamela Zaganin Modena, Cristina Harumi Adania, Vinicius Marques Lopez, Rhainer Guillermo-Ferreira
Theriogenology Wild
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The breeding of captive wild species can play a crucial role in their preservation. Jaguars, the largest felines in the Americas, face challenges in captivity that hinder their breeding success in zoos and conservation institutions. One major barrier to successful captive breeding is the difficulty of replicating the natural environment, including nutritional, social, and habitat needs. Hence, any insights into the breeding behaviour and parental care of jaguars can inform and enhance breeding strategies for these captive felines.

In this study, we aimed to examine maternal behaviours during the pre- and post-partum periods in the first successful case of natural reproduction of captive jaguars in Brazil. The study took place at the Mata Ciliar Association in Jundiaí, Brazil, where infrared cameras were used to observe maternal behaviours without human interference. The behaviours were analysed through an ethogram of the mother and Generalized Linear Models (GLM) to examine her behavioural repertoire during three different phases of parental care. Our findings suggest that there were differences in the behaviours exhibited by the female jaguar in the pre- and post-partum periods. Furthermore, the mother’s interactions with her jaguar cubs reduced her stereotyped behaviours, implying an improvement in her welfare. Finally, we offer suggestions and recommendations to facilitate future breeding efforts for captive jaguars.


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