Fundação Grupo Boticário de Proteção à Natureza

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Jaguarwatching and Birdwatching in the Araguaia Valley

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Posted by Douglas Santos on 25-12-2016 - Last updated on 25-12-2016

The video above was included here to illustrate the successful experience with jaguarwatching tourism and how it has been developing in the Pantanal. It also treat positive issues of tourism activity as well as its risks.. The ecotourism and contemplative tourism focused on fauna observation are great alternative to biodiversity conservation. The people see some species like a problem, because this kill them, for example the jaguar. But if this species can contribute to local socio-economic development, the people will effort to their conservation. Therefore we propouse the ecotourism development in the Araguaia Valley, in order to develop local economy, and create a viable conservation mecanism.

Why the Jaguar ?

 The "surrogates" or key species which their protection, consequently also help to conserve a lot of other species, are very important to contemplative tourism. Carismatic species, generally attract more tourists. The jaguar is a carismatic specie as well as a umbrella species, because it is an apex predator, and to protect jaguar, we need also protect their prey and habitat.

Why the Cerrado?

The Cerrado is the richest savanna and one of the world's hotspots ecosystem, but currently is very threatened because mainly of the agricultural expansion.  It is the second largest Brazilian biome, and its central strategic location, which connect the other four Brazilian biomes, makes of the Cerrado's corridors a very important key to jaguar dispersion, to avoid genetic diversity loss and population isolatation.

Why in the Araguaia Valley?

The main jaguar corridor in the Cerrado is the Araguaia Valley, because it still have a lot of riparian vegetation along Araguaia River, with rich diversity of preys such as caimans, peccaries, capybaras, fishs, and other mammals and reptiles.  Furthermore, in some areas of the Araguaia Valley there are viable jaguar populations, wich lives in minor areas and major density, due the preys abundance. For example, in a natural reserve which have 4000 hectare of protected area, where we have tracked jaguar for 2 years, we have recorded at least 7 jaguars by our camera traps.
The Araguaia River have more than 2000 km, and is part of the Amazonian Basin, being known like Amazon-Pantanal Corridor,  due to link these 2 biomes, together with the Taquari River. However the land use changes have pushed at risk the jaguars dispersion, and their populations may be isolated.  

Successful experience

In the Pantanal, ecotourism based on jaguar observation has been increased over the past 30 years, and currently offers employment and economic development to local communities. Furthermore, tourism has contributed to increase jaguar populations.Recently, a study showed a dead jaguar can avoids US$ 2500 in livestock predation damages. While one alive jaguar can generates US$ 65,000 in revenue from tourism.

Fonte da imagem:  site

What do we expect? 

We hope to ensure the conservation of natural resources through of the local communities socio-economic development.


We intend to develop the ecotourism in the Araguaia Valley, and we hope to make people aware that natural resources can be an important tool for the sustainable development of the region, showing them the environmental conservacion benefits.

Work plan and timeline for implementations

In the Vale do Araguaia there is already good structure set up to support sports fishing tourism, so it would save us time and investments. The actions will begin with the training and qualification of workers and entrepreneurs from three cities, which was chosen to start the tourism development process (Aruanã, Bandeirantes, and Luiz Alves), where there are many hotels, restaurants, guides, and boatman associations.

Date Actions
March 2017 Signature of the collaboration agreement between us and the municipal and state government agencies responsible for the local tourism development.
April 2017 Field research to define the tourist places, and qualification of the local trade through trainings and workshops.
May 2017  I Workshop of the Jaguarwatching in the Araguaia Valley
June 2017 Beginning of the operations when will arrive a lot of tourists to the Araguaia Valley in the high season (June - September)
December 2017 Evaluation of the goals reached the current year, and planning for the following years

Costs forecast

The project is designed to be developed in order to avoid that we, the entrepreneurs, or the local community need to invest high values. 

Actions Cost
Previous research and fieldwork $ 900,00
Website $ 110,00
Workshop and Qualifications $ 3000,00
Publicity $ 3000,00

Financial return anticipations

Date Income
June 2017  US$ 420,00
July 2017 US$ 2200,00
August 2017  US$ 820,00
September 2017 US$ 610,00
October 2017 US$ 420,00
November 2017 US$ 300,00
December 2017 US$ 300,00

From second year we expect a exponential growing rate averaged of at least 70% per year. Thus we'll reach our goal (US$ 350.000,00 per year) in 2025.

What problem does your product solve / market need does it fill? 

The product will be able to reverse the current scenario of environmental degradation faced by the Araguaia Valley, while generating employment and income for the local community. At moment, in the Araguaia Valley there is not many opportunity for the people, whos they often use natural resource, sometimes illegally, to provide for their families.

How big is the market for your product? 

The ecotourism, and especially wildlife tourism, has been growing every year around the world. The Araguaia valley, receives more than 300,000 tourists every year which search fishing and leisure. Our goal is to get at least 10% of these tourists to perform also ecotourism tours. It will bring us about US$ 350,000 a year, and other thousands of dollares to local community.

How will your company make money now and in the future? 

We'll carry out the tours, and to take tourists to know the places where the animals live, we will need to hire several suppliers in the cities, such as hotels, food, boats, guides, and many others. 

What are the barriers to entry for your competitors and new market entrants?

Firrst:  The legal barriers that involve licence to research, jaguars caught and track, and biological material collection, which our team already got from environmental brazilian institutes.

Second: The human capital is another important barrier for competitors access into the business, since technical and scientific knowledge is needed to work with wildlife.

How is your management team uniquely positioned to execute on this idea? 

Our team is compounded by biologists, photographers, and turismologists which have been performing surveys and projects for conservation and sustainable development in the Araguaia Valley. It is a great diferential, since to work with threatened species, mainly the elusives such as jaguar, require a lot of experience.

How does the investor achieve liquidity? 

After 36 months (payback) the investor can get back all the amounts invested when the project  was begun. From 2020 the investidor can get the amount of 20% of income by year. For example: In 2025 it would be about US$ 70.000,00.

How does your business benefit mankind? 

The project will ensure employment and income for thousands of people along the Araguaia Valley. In addition, we will contribute numerous threatened species conservation (birds, fish, and mammals). On a global scale, we contribute to the deforestation reduction, which accelerates the emission of greenhouse gases, so that we will also be fighting against the global warming and climate changes.