The eternal threat: habitat loss.
Mirador State Park is the stronghold for the northern tiger cat. Nevertheless, it is located in Brazil´s new agriculture frontier, and soy crops have reached several of the park's limits. Furthermore, human induced fires are a constant both inside and outside the park borders. We are working with governmental bodies in order to address these threats as well as monitoring vegetation and wildlife both inside and outside the park. Fortunately, direct poaching and roadkills are not major threats for the species in the park.
The silent threat: disease transmission.
Our work at Mirador State Park has identified disease transmission by domestic dogs as the major threat for the long-term survival of the northern tiger cat in the park. We detected domestic dogs at 80% of the sites used by northern tiger cats, indicating a high degree of spatial overlap. Similarly domestic dogs exert a high impact on most areas of suitable habitat left inside the park.
We have detected diseases such as canine distemper virus, rabies, and canine parvovirus among domestic dogs living inside the park. We have also seen disease signs among wild carnivores, particularly crab-eating foxes. Our analyses show that the tiger cat population at Mirador is viable long-term, however on a moderate disease outbreak it would fall extinct within the next 1000 years. Hence why disease transmission by domestic dog is the main threat for the species.
Due to the severity of this threat, we have implemented mitigation actions. We are working with the local population and vaccinating their domestic dogs, as well as following up with health check-ups. We are currently doing this at different sites within Mirador State Park, but are planning on expanding to other areas depending on funding.