Capture techniques are an important consideration for studies involving endangered or threatened species. Mortality or serious injury can cause an unfavorable reaction from the public and bias results. Safe and selective capture of jaguars (Panthera onca) depends on such factors as environmental conditions in the study area, accessibility, avoidance of nontarget animals, budget, time, mobility, and skills and training of the capture team. In consideration of these factors, trained cat hounds were chosen as a capture method for a study of jaguars in the Chaco of Paraguay. During winter months of June and July 2002 through 2006, representing 5 capture periods, 15 jaguars were captured and fitted with GPS-VHF collars during 92 days of hunting. Four of these 15 jaguars were recaptured and refitted with new collars. No jaguar was killed or injured during capture or recapture, and no nontarget animal, including jaguar kittens, was chased, captured, or harassed. Post-capture monitoring via telemetry indicated that 14 jaguars moved 1–5 km from capture site the following day, with Jaguar 2 moving 12 km the day after capture. Six collared jaguars were captured on camera 24 times. Camera-trap photos gave visual support that the collared jaguars remained in good physical condition.
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Vol. 52 • No. 4