Rare Species Fund – Jaguar Conservation: Past and Present

See how this conservation project helps save the endangered wildlife species in South America.

Jaguar conservation throughout South America has been part of the Rare Species Fund agenda for more than two decades. During the mid 1980’s, the Smithsonian Institution put plans together to bring this message of preserving the jaguar to the isolated tribes of the Amazon region. The plan was to transport battery powered televisions into the jungle and bring the first images of a live jaguar that most of the inhabitants had ever seen. Education of indigenous and local people has always played a significant role in conservation. The Smithsonian Institution had the equipment and the expedition crew ready to go, but lacked the requisite footage for the project. The Rare Species Fund stepped in and provided trained jaguars and a full film crew, supplying the expedition with footage they would never have been able to obtain in the wild.

The Rare Species Fund is currently developing a program to reimburse farmers for livestock lost to wild predators, including jaguars. This initiative ensures that the predators do not become a financial liability for the farmers and are therefore less likely to be illegally poached. The RSF rewards farmers in the program who set aside a minimum of twenty percent of the land to be kept in its natural wild state. This ensures that viable habitat will remain for the jaguar as well as other indigenous wildlife, including: tapirs, monkeys, toucans, sloths, caiman and spectacled bears.

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