With no natural predators to worry about, jaguars (Panthera onca) roam the forests of South and Central America. This feline is found in 18 countries, but only 4% of its critical habitat is effectively protected. The lack of protection has allowed its habitat to be destroyed and fragmented, the main reason why this emblematic species has been extirpated from 40% of its historical range. Due to a declining population and pressing threats, jaguars are listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List, and are struggling to persist in many parts of their range. Jaguar strolling on a forest trail. Image by Mikadun via Shutterstock. The Cerrado biome in Brazil is one of those habitats that is losing its native vegetation to the rapid expansion of agricultural and livestock industries. It’s the country’s second-largest habitat type, after the Amazon, and the planet’s most biodiverse savanna, home to 5% of the world’s known plant and animal species. But unlike the national parks in Amazon, the Cerrado’s protected areas are substantially smaller, which present challenges for wildlife conservation, especially for large carnivores like the jaguar that require large areas to satisfy their ecological and reproductive needs. The transition zone between the Cerrado and the Amazon Rainforest. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Jaguar extinction risk in the vanishing Cerrado To assess jaguars’ chances of survival in protected areas in the Cerrado, researchers from the Jaguar Conservation Fund (JCF), a Brazilian NGO, carried out a camera-trap survey in Emas National Park in the country’s…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer