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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 15, 2021

New altitudinal records of Panthera onca (Carnivora: Felidae) in the Andean region of Ecuador

  • Daniel M. Griffith ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Carlos Nivelo-Villavicencio ORCID logo , Fabián Rodas , Byron Puglla and Rodrigo Cisneros ORCID logo
From the journal Mammalia


We report two records of jaguars (Panthera onca) registered with camera traps at 2300 and 2660 m a.s.l. in the Ecuadorian Andes, which represent the first verifiable records of the species above 2000 m in Ecuador. As the first records of jaguars from Río Negro-Sopladora National Park and Tapichalaca Reserve, these records raise important questions about the species’ ecology and conservation in Andean montane forests. From a regional perspective, these records may indicate connectivity between jaguar populations inhabiting both sides of the Andes. Sustained monitoring of wildlife populations is necessary to discern the significance of these records and help develop strategies to ensure the conservation of this highly mobile species across the increasingly fragmented Andean-Amazonian landscapes of southern Ecuador.

Corresponding author: Daniel M. Griffith, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, EcoSs_Lab, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, San Cayetano Alto, 1101608, Loja, Ecuador, E-mail:

Funding source: Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja

Funding source: Nature and Culture International

Funding source: Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

Award Identifier / Grant number: CEPF 108972

Funding source: Moxie Foundation

Funding source: Jocotoco Foundation


We are grateful to the staff of Tapichalaca Reserve, whose efforts to monitor the local biodiversity has made this and other important species records possible. We also thank the network of collaborators promoting and implementing the Sangay-Podocarpus Connectivity Corridor. Comments by two anonymous reviewers helped improve the manuscript. This work was conducted under research permit N°04-19-IC-FAU-B-DPAMS/MAE from the Environmental Ministry of Ecuador.

  1. Author contributions: D.M.G., C.N.-V. and R.C. wrote the manuscript, C.N.-V. collected and analyzed field data, and all authors reviewed the final document and suggested valuable edits. F.R. and B.P. obtained funding for equipment and fieldwork.

  2. Research funding: Financial support was provided by the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Nature and Culture International, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Moxie Foundation, and the Jocotoco Foundation.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.

  4. Research ethics: This work was carried out following current professional techniques and the regulations established by the American Society of Mammalogists (Sikes et al. 2016).


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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (

Received: 2021-07-31
Accepted: 2021-10-26
Published Online: 2021-12-15
Published in Print: 2022-03-28

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