, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 604–612 | Cite as

Attitudes toward jaguars and pumas and the acceptability of killing big cats in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest: An application of the Potential for Conflict Index2

  • Monica T. Engel
  • Jerry J. Vaske
  • Alistair J. Bath
  • Silvio Marchini


We explored the overall acceptability of killing jaguars and pumas in different scenarios of people–big cat interactions, the influence of attitudes toward big cats on acceptability, and the level of consensus on the responses. Data were obtained from 326 self-administered questionnaires in areas adjacent to Intervales State Park and Alto Ribeira State Park. Overall, people held slightly positive attitudes toward jaguars and pumas and viewed the killing of big cats as unacceptable. However, individuals that held negative attitudes were more accepting of killing. As the severity of people–big cat interactions increased, the level of consensus decreased. Knowing whether killing a big cat is acceptable or unacceptable in specific situations allows managers to anticipate conflict and avoid illegal killing of big cats.


Ecological corridors Human–wildlife conflict Panthera onca Protected areas Puma concolor Wildlife 



We thank B. Beisiegel and R. Bergamaschi for field assistance. We thank Chester Zoo’s Act for Wildlife for financial support of this research. We are also grateful to all the residents of Iporanga and Ribeirao Grande who shared with us their insights and time.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monica T. Engel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jerry J. Vaske
    • 3
  • Alistair J. Bath
    • 1
  • Silvio Marchini
    • 4
  1. 1.Geography DepartmentMemorial UniversitySt. John’sCanada
  2. 2.Mammalian Ecology LabUniversidade do Vale do Rio dos SinosSão LeopoldoBrazil
  3. 3.Human Dimensions of Natural ResourcesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  4. 4.Forest Science Department, Luiz de Queiroz College of AgricultureUniversity of São PauloPiracicabaBrazil

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