•Wild Cats - Brazil (WCB) or “Gatos do Mato – Brasil” is a research program from Instituto Pró Carnívoros, Maranhão State University (UEMA) and Instituto Pampa. It is aimed at the study of a series of ecological-conservation parameters of all species of small felids found in Brazil.
•It has included more than 25 researchers working in several fields/areas (natural history, ecology, genetics, diseases) of 12 institutions in 10 states and 6 biomes.
•Today, the actions are more concentrated in the ecology-conservation part, with about 15 participating researchers.
•It works as an “Umbrella Project” having specific actions (projects) at some sites (e.g., small felids use of space in agricultural landscapes) and an integrated approach at others (e.g., density/abundance/occupancy estimates in several habitat types), doing the same actions in different areas, working as a network and always following the same standards.
•The project has been the subject of several articles in national and international magazines, including the covers. Project of the month for the IUCN, award for best work in national congress, plus a series of articles in newspapers, TV and web portals.
•PWCB research products: 1 book published, 5 chapters published in international books, including Oxford University Press, more than 26 scientific articles, more than 22 papers presented at international events, and an additional 25 in national events.
•Throughout its years of activity, " Projeto Gatos do Mato - Brasil" has contributed to the conservation of small cat species, with actions at the national and global levels.
Wild Cats - Brazil works as a large umbrella program encompassing several projects at small scales throughout the whole country. Unfortunately wild cat conservation, and indeed all wildlife conservation, is severely underfunded. Throughout the years we have accomplished several things in spite of little to no support. Some of our current work would not be possible without the help from external partners. Here we want to acknowledge them, because they are helping us to make conservation happen!
A word from Tadeu and Fábio, Gatos do Mato - Brasil Leaders:
Between the current two project leaders, we have more than 40 years of cat experience. During this time, we were fortunate enough to be able to give a good contribution towards cat ecology and conservation. Between the two of us, we have trapped 141 specimens of all species of small felids found in Brazil, except for the Pampas cat. This was done with different purposes (telemetry, epidemiologic, genetic evaluations) and not necessarily strictly related to WCB. Fábio carried most of this extraordinary task, whereas camera trapping’s 110 abundance estimates and the 30 density estimates were carried mostly by Tadeu. We started working together in 2004, at the very beginning of Wild Cats of Brazil, and this cat-partnership has been very productive. Two friends, joined together by their passion for cats, the heart, mind and soul of WCB, but always working side by side with a ‘family’ of cat researchers around Brazil. Despite the immense hardships we have faced, often times doing field work with our own money, we feel that we succeeded, but still have a very long way to go. Today WCB also works in partnership with other projects and researchers.