Across its range in Latin America the jaguar Panthera onca is threatened by habitat loss and through conflict with people. In the Pantanal of Brazil, where large areas of land are devoted to cattle ranching, jaguars often attack livestock and are persecuted by ranchers. However, the extent to which livestock predation and/or other socio-economic factors affect ranchers' tolerance of jaguars is unclear. This study examined ranchers' attitudes towards jaguars and conservation in the northern Pantanal in order to identify ways of resolving jaguar-rancher conflict. The results suggest that most respondents supported the conservation of the Pantanal but that attitudes towards jaguars were mixed and difficult to predict on the basis of socio-economic factors. Attitudes towards jaguars were more closely related to respondents' age and relative wealth than to jaguar-related benefits through tourism or costs through cattle predation. Whilst efforts to reduce cattle losses are needed, it may be equally as important for conservation initiatives to focus on the inherent appreciation of the natural value of the Pantanal within this ranching community.
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