Patterns of space use by an individual emerge as a result of their movements, and their decisions of when and where to move are related to the distribution of resources needed for their survival and reproduction. Solitary species are characterized by limited social interaction with conspecifics, moving independently or maintaining a spatiotemporal avoidance of them, except during courtship or parental care. The present study aimed to analyze the effect of various factors on space use by jaguars (Panthera onca) in the Pantanal of Brazil. We used step selection functions (SSF) to evaluate the effect of the tendency to return to the home-range center (HRC), habitat, time of day and distance to conspecifics on jaguars’ space use.
Five jaguars with partially overlapping home ranges were simultaneously monitored using global positioning system collars. The results indicate that the main factors guiding individual movement are the spatiotemporal movements of conspecifics, differences in HRC between sexes, and the variations in habitat type throughout
the day. Tracked females presented strong HRC, limiting their movements to the vicinity of their HRC, while the single tracked male did not. The habitat varies throughout the day, according to daily activities; forest and water bodies were selected all day long, but especially at night, when the species is more active and
hunting. Tracked male and females selected areas that maximized the likelihood of encountering a female, but females avoided areas with a likelihood of encountering the single tracked male. Our findings allowed us to propose the solitary species’ space use, highlighting the relevance of including conspecifics as factors in the
selection or avoidance of determined areas.