The Fight for the Jaguar in Brazil
Conservationists hope to deter lethal action against the cats by ranchers
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2008 7:27 PM CST
A baby jaguar in captivity at the Hellabrunn zoo in Munich. (OLIVER LANG/AFP/Getty Images)    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Conservationists are waging a pitched battle on behalf of the jaguar in the Pantanal, a rich savannah region in southwest Brazil, the New York Times reports. The area is perfect for supporting a large jaguar population, but revenge killings by ranchers for livestock losses plague the near-threatened cats.

The Panthera foundation is purchasing three large ranches in the area to offer safe passage for the jaguars through contiguous wildlife preserves, and to demonstrate nonlethal jaguar deterrents, such as bright lights, electrified fencing and even raising water buffaloes to defend the cattle.  Conservationists say they must also combat a tradition among field hands for whom killing a jaguar is a macho achievement.