We start in Cuiabá, drive to Cáceres, then boat to the Jaguar River Lodge. They next day we boat past the Taiamã Ecological Station, spend the day looking for jaguars, giant river otters, primates, etc. south of the reserve, spending the nights in the Jaguar River Lodge. On the last day we return to Cáceres by boat, and Cuiabá by road, to end the tour.
The Taiamã Ecological Station is part of Brazil’s federally protected areas, which include National Parks, Biological Reserves and Ecological Stations. Only National Parks are open to the public in Brazil, and then, only those with management plans in place. Biological Reserves and Ecological Stations are closed to tourism, allowing only research and environmental education. Instituto Chico Mendes (ICMBio) is the equivalent of the National Parks Department in other countries.
Douglas Trent (Founder of Focus Tours), is an ecological scientist, and have been researching jaguars both north and south of the reserve since 2005. With the 39 jaguars he have documented in a 200km stretch of river, this is without doubt the richest region for jaguars anywhere. Males in the Amazon and forests of Central America need 75 sq. km each, with female using half of this. So, having at least 39 on the river edge in 200km, is astounding!
Last year ICMBio asked to share his research data to help convince the Brazilian Congress to approve a bill currently move through, that would increase the size of the reserve. His is finding new jaguars on each tour, thus, traveling here with Focus Tours helps preserve the species as well.
With the 39 individuals now documented, however, it is apparent that while all of these use this part of the Pantanal, they cannot possibly all be there all the time, and thus they are using other parts of the Pantanal as well. In 2011 he plans to continue his research in the Caracara National Park, some 200km south of the Taiamã Ecological Station. If we can find even one of the same jaguars in this region it will prove that the corridor between the two reserves is critical for preservation of the species. Join us in this new region in 2011.