Satellite monitoring of big cats

The Cedral– Tintal and Tintal–Playa del Carmen branch road project in Quintana Roo affected the habitat of four species of endangered mammals, among them the jaguar and the ocelot, because it runs through an area of the Yucatán Peninsula across which these species roam.

This is an innovative project in Mexico and Latin America because, for the first time, infrastructure was developed for animal crossings based on intensive work with the species themselves, so that the location and characteristics of the work mitigate the negative effects based on biological realities.

By capturing and identifying some examples, we obtained 1,570 locations that enable us to determine their habitat preferences and the routes they use to cross the area covered by the project.

The up-to-date localization of animal crossings, determined by the biological and ecological characteristics of the species, means a reduction in the number of wildlife road kills— which surpasses even hunting as a cause of wildlife mortality—and also reduces risks to users. It will help avoid the extinction of species caused by a reduction in their area of movement and their access to resources, or by the impossibility of genetic interchange due to the fragmentation and isolation of populations.