A big THANK YOU to everybody who supported our research in Belize! Our new article on conservation genetics in jaguars, pumas, and ocelots is out!

A Comparative Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Structure in Jaguars (Panthera onca), Pumas (Puma concolor), and Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) in Fragmented Landscapes of a Critical Mesoamerican Linkage Zone

With increasing anthropogenic impact and landscape change, terrestrial carnivore populations are becoming more fragmented. Thus, it is crucial to genetically monitor wild carnivores and quantify changes in genetic diversity and gene flow in response to these threats. This study combined the use of scat detector dogs and molecular scatology to conduct the first genetic study on wild populations of multiple Neotropical felids coexisting across a fragmented landscape in Belize, Central America. We analyzed data from 14 polymorphic microsatellite loci in 1053 scat samples collected from wild jaguars (Panthera onca), pumas (Puma concolor), and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis). We assessed levels of genetic diversity, defined potential genetic clusters, and examined gene flow for the three target species on a countrywide scale using a combination of individual- and population-based analyses.

Click for the article by PLOS