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"Looking for the beautiful in all living soul, photography is painting with light"

Clément Fontaine

Wildlife and conservation photographer

Jaguar cat-alogue

Pantanal has become the land of the jaguars, since farmers understood that jaguar is worth more money alive than dead, they stopped shooting them.
In fact, the jaguar is now protected because eco-tourist, from all over the world, come to Pantanal to observe those magnificent animals. They bring more income to the local farmers than they cost them in cattle loss. Local farmers are now part of it, as they turn their farm into eco-lodges where ecotourist come to observe animals in their environment.
I followed for two consecutive years those jaguars, trying to get pictures that show how amazing they are. Incredible hunters, amazing parents, dangerous lovers and beautiful animal.
Jaguars are amazing hunters and in Pantanal they are specialized in caiman hunting. Why? Probably because more than 10 million caimans live in Pantanal. They are also pretty good to catch the yellow anaconda. Jumping, swimming or running, they use different technics to catch their prey.
During my time there I had a chance to contribute to a program of photo identification, the jaguar ‘Cat-alog’. This program aims to identify individual jaguar to study them without invasive technique like GPS collar. With a clear shot of the front and both sides, we have a full identification. Each jaguar has a unique pattern of rosette (those round and black spot on their coat) and even between siblings from the same year with the same mother and father they will be different. It is like our fingerprints. With this identification we can study their territory, their behavior, their lineage, their diet etc… 

One day we went pretty far up stream where most boat do not go, suddenly we saw two jaguars under a tree, a mother and her one-year-old cub. Gustavo, the biologist in charge of the jaguar identification, quickly checks on the catalog and could identify the mother, it was Bé. But the cub was not on the catalog, I had the honor to give him a name. I choose Sherikhan in reference to the Jungle Book. 
The next year we decided to put my camera trap next to the lodge to see which jaguar might be around. After a week there, my trap captures many animals and a picture of the jaguar call Sophia, easily identify by the GPS collar and the side pattern of her fur. 
This program aims to study jaguars, but also to bring them into people’s heart by knowing them more individually.
We tend to protect what we know more about; this program does help people to know, love and protect those cats.