Brazil, and more specifically The Pantanal, is teeming with wildlife. The incredible diversity of birds, reptiles and mammals is the making of a wildlife fan’s dreams. The seasons here change dramatically and it is in the dry season when wildlife watching is most successful and the chances of spotting Jaguar are very high.
These are normally solitary and secretive animals, but at times when water is scarce and rapidly diminishing they join many other species congregating around the life-giving watering holes. Jaguar watching in the dry season, therefore, delivers a real insight into this elegant creature and how it behaves in the wild. The watering holes are perfect places for the cat to stalk prey, keep an eye on potential dangers and even look out for a mate. Dailyjaguar.com
The Wild One
Jaguars have reportedly been studied in their natural habitat since the 1970s and yet relatively little information has been gleaned about them. Gradually, however, it has become obvious that these majestic cats are declining in numbers, principally due to the encroachment of human development. In turn this has increased the need for more research into their habitat and daily existence. Raising awareness of the potential dangers these beautiful animals are in is also imperative if they are going to continue to survive.
When Jaguar watching it is important to go armed with as much information as possible to make the most of the experience. Being one of the largest wild cats in the world it is bigger and thicker set than a Leopard, although the two are often confused because they share similar markings. Jaguars are good climbers and excellent swimmers, often preying on fish and small reptiles. The strength of the jaw is such that even the armour of an Armadillo is no match for a Jaguar. Watching these cats, researchers have noted that they kill by crushing the skull bones as opposed to attacking the jugular of the prey, making them quite different to their feline counterparts.
Seemingly dominant in their territory it is difficult to comprehend that these stealthy animals are in any danger. The threat to their survival is purely the impact of human encroachment.
Safari On Water
One of the best ways to embark on an adventure Jaguar watching in The Pantanal is to take a trip on one of the boats that cruise the stunning rivers of the Porto Jofre region. The boats make a perfect setting from which to observe wildlife, providing comfort, wonderful photo opportunities and the chance for real exploration.
This area covers over 58,000 square miles and is bursting with an incredible range of flora and fauna. Apart from the big cats there will be opportunity to spot Giant Otters, alligators, Giant Anteaters and hundreds of other fascinating creatures that contribute to the intricacy of this delicate ecosystem.