Infanticide in a jaguar (Panthera onca) population—does the provision of livestock carcasses increase the risk?
Infanticide is an antagonistic behavior that may provide an evolutionary benefit for the perpetrator. Cases of infanticide have rarely been reported in Neotropical carnivores. The objective of this study was to provide empirical evidence of infanticide in a local jaguar (Panthera onca) population in the Brazilian Pantanal. We present infanticide data from opportunistic sampling. Each month, from 2013 to 2015, we monitored pastures for evidence of livestock carcasses. A remotely triggered camera trap was placed at encountered fresh cattle carcasses. Through this monitoring, two cases of infanticide were recorded. Both cases occurred in close proximity to a cattle carcass, a large prey item that may attract multiple jaguars—including females with cubs around age of weaning—and increase the risk of infanticide. Our observations provide new empirical evidence of jaguar social behavior and intraspecific competitive interactions, potentially driven by locally high population density and resource provision.