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First record of jaguar predation on giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)

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Top of the food chain predators are often not predated upon. However, even though the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is in that category, the literature mentions many species as potential predators, including the jaguar (Panthera onca). Notwithstanding up until now there has been no registered confirmation of jaguar predation on giant otters. A predation of a jaguar on an adult female giant otter was recorded for the first time during our radio-telemetry study on giant otters in Balbina hydroelectric reservoir in Central Brazilian Amazon. The female had had a transmitter implanted on February 2012 and was killed by a jaguar ninety-four days after the surgery. This giant otter was a solitary specimen, which was captured by a jaguar while asleep in a shelter under a fallen tree trunk on the banks of one of the reservoir’s islands. The solitary pattern found in such individuals combined with the frequent use of shelters, allows predators to access them more easily and may have contributed to the predation observed in this study.

Affiliations: 1: 1Laboratório de Mamíferos Aquáticos, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA), Av. André Araújo, 2936, 69067-375 Manaus, AM, Brazil; 2: 2Laboratório de Vertebrados, Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, P.O. Box 68020, CEP 21941-590, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 3: 3Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Avenida Padre Fernão de Oliveira, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal


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