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Bio­di­ver­sity


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201326Jan16:59

His­toric jaguar con­ser­va­tion agree­ment between gov­ern­ment and con­ser­va­tion organisation

Infor­ma­tion
pub­lished 26 Jan­u­ary 2013 | mod­i­fied 26 Jan­u­ary 2013
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jaguarMOU with Pan­thera Launches Guyana’s First Jaguar Con­ser­va­tion Frame­work

The jaguars of Guyana gained sig­nif­i­cant ground yes­ter­day with the estab­lish­ment of the country’s first offi­cial jaguar-​focused agree­ment by the gov­ern­ment of Guyana and wild cat con­ser­va­tion organ­i­sa­tion, Pan­thera.

Gath­er­ing in George­town, Guyana’s Min­is­ter of Nat­ural Resources and the Envi­ron­ment, the Hon­ourable Robert M. Per­saud, presided over the sign­ing of a Mem­o­ran­dum of Under­stand­ing (MOU) between the Ministry’s Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, Mr. Joslyn McKen­zie, and Panthera’s CEO, Dr. Alan Rabi­nowitz. Serv­ing as Panthera’s fifth jaguar con­ser­va­tion agree­ment with a Latin Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment, this MOU marks an offi­cial com­mit­ment by both par­ties to col­lab­o­ra­tively under­take research and con­ser­va­tion ini­tia­tives that ensure the pro­tec­tion of Guyana’s national ani­mal, jaguar con­ser­va­tion edu­ca­tion among its peo­ple, and mit­i­ga­tion of human-​jaguar con­flicts in the coun­try.

Launch­ing this agree­ment pro­vides a frame­work through which Pan­thera, in part­ner­ship with Guyana’s Pro­tected Areas and National Parks Com­mis­sions, can strengthen the effec­tive­ness of the country’s Pro­tected Areas Sys­tem for wildlife, and out­line the most effec­tive ini­tia­tives to con­serve the nation’s jaguars. Sev­eral ini­tial activ­i­ties to be under­taken through the agree­ment include map­ping of the pres­ence and dis­tri­b­u­tion of jaguars across Guyana, and imple­ment­ing a human-​jaguar con­flict response team that helps ranch­ers in live­stock hus­bandry tech­niques and assesses con­flict hotspots to bet­ter focus mit­i­ga­tion efforts and reduce conflict.

We are proud of our new part­ner­ship with Pan­thera to secure the con­ti­nu­ity of our sus­tain­able devel­op­ment efforts while con­serv­ing our national sym­bol, the jaguar.
Robert M. Per­saud, Guyana’s Min­is­ter of Nat­ural Resources and the Envi­ron­ment » Panthera’s CEO and jaguar expert, Dr. Alan Rabi­nowitz, con­tin­ued, “His­tor­i­cally, Guyana has achieved incred­i­ble suc­cess in sus­tain­ably bal­anc­ing the country’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment, nat­ural resource man­age­ment, the liveli­hoods of its peo­ple, and the preser­va­tion of its unique wildlife and wild places. The sign­ing of this jaguar con­ser­va­tion agree­ment demon­strates the government’s con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to its legacy of con­ser­va­tion along­side eco­nomic progress and diver­si­fi­ca­tion.”

Guyana mapUnlike most other Latin Amer­i­can and devel­op­ing nations rich in nat­ural resources, Guyana has main­tained an exem­plary model of habi­tat preser­va­tion, assisted by sparse human pop­u­la­tions in the south­ern half of the coun­try and a strong ethic for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment, aided by impor­tant reg­u­la­tory frame­works. In recent years, Guyana has imple­mented a Low Car­bon Devel­op­ment Strat­egy to pro­tect its 16 mil­lion hectares of rain­forests and adhere to the United Nations Pro­gramme on Reduc­ing Emis­sions from Defor­esta­tion and For­est Degra­da­tion in Devel­op­ing Coun­tries (REDD). Addi­tion­ally, in 2011, Guyana com­mit­ted to the estab­lish­ment of the national Pro­tected Areas Act, pro­vid­ing a frame­work for the man­age­ment of the country’s pre­served land­scapes, includ­ing those within the Jaguar Cor­ri­dor.

Such ded­i­ca­tion to envi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion, along with its unique place­ment rooted between Venezuela to the north, Brazil to the west and south, and Suri­name to the east, has estab­lished Guyana’s pris­tine for­est and savanna land­scape sys­tem as a crit­i­cal con­nect­ing block for jaguar pop­u­la­tions in north­ern South Amer­ica, and through the Jaguar Cor­ri­dor. Con­cep­tu­alised by Dr. Rabi­nowitz, the Jaguar Cor­ri­dor Ini­tia­tive is the back­bone of Panthera’s Jaguar Pro­gram, which seeks to con­nect and pro­tect jaguar pop­u­la­tions rang­ing from Mex­ico to Argentina to ensure the species’ genetic diver­sity and sur­vival.

Today, Guyana rep­re­sents one of 18 Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries that is home to the jaguar, and one of 13 coun­tries in which Pan­thera is con­duct­ing jaguar con­ser­va­tion sci­ence. In fact, the sign­ing of this MOU comes at the heels of a ten-​day exploratory expe­di­tion of Guyana’s Rewa River by Panthera’s jaguar sci­en­tists, includ­ing Vice Pres­i­dent and leg­endary biol­o­gist Dr. George Schaller, North­ern South Amer­ica Jaguar Pro­gram Regional Direc­tor Dr. Este­ban Payan, and grantee, Dr. Evi Paeme­laere. Along with assess­ing the state of bio­di­ver­sity and threats fac­ing this water­shed, Panthera’s team made a mile­stone sight­ing of the noto­ri­ously elu­sive ‘for­est jaguar’ dur­ing the trip, indi­cat­ing the poten­tially healthy con­di­tion of the ripar­ian forests bor­der­ing the Rewa River.

“Being able to have a for­est jaguar sight­ing in 10 days in the river is a tes­ta­ment to the good health of this for­est. Some­times years pass with­out see­ing a jaguar in a per­fectly sound for­est envi­ron­ment,” com­mented Dr. Payan.

View Panthera’s Guyana image gallery

Since 2011, Dr. Paeme­laere has led Panthera’s jaguar con­ser­va­tion ini­tia­tives in south­ern Guyana, con­cen­trat­ing on the Karanambu and Dadanawa Ranches of the Rupu­nuni savan­nas. Tra­versed by the Rupu­nuni River, these savan­nas serve as an extra­or­di­nary hotspot of bio­log­i­cal diver­sity and an essen­tial ele­ment of the Jaguar Cor­ri­dor, poten­tially con­nect­ing Guyana’s jaguars with those of the Ama­zons.

Panthera’s part­ner­ship with the Karanambu Trust and Lodge — a for­mer cat­tle ranch emblem­atic of his­toric Guyana turned eco-​tourism oper­a­tion — estab­lished the country’s first jaguar mon­i­tor­ing site and first mammal-​focused bio­di­ver­sity sur­vey in the coun­try. Often work­ing on horse­back, Panthera’s jaguar sci­en­tists con­ducted sur­veys on both Karanambu and Dadanawa ranches using cam­era traps and inter­views to deter­mine jaguar den­sity, and assess the extent of human-​jaguar con­flict and unique threats fac­ing the species.

“A jaguar den­sity of three to four indi­vid­u­als per 100 km2 for the Rupu­nuni savan­nas means these habi­tats are as impor­tant as rain­forests for the con­ser­va­tion of the jaguar,” said Dr. Payan. In part­ner­ship with the Karanambu Trust and WWF Guyana, Pan­thera has also con­tributed to capacity-​building with local Amerindian com­mu­ni­ties.

In 2013, Pan­thera is work­ing to assess the state and pres­ence of jaguars inside a log­ging con­ces­sion between the Iwokrama Reserve and Cen­tral Suri­name Nature Reserve, also embed­ded in the Jaguar Cor­ri­dor.


(Source: Pan­thera press release, 25.01.2013)
UN Biodiversity decade

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
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