Panthera is the only organization in the world that is devoted exclusively to the conservation of the world’s 40 wild cat species and their ecosystems.
- In key jaguar habitats, we support protected area law enforcement by conducting trainings on effective law enforcement, providing key technology to help measure and design law enforcement regimes and providing financial and material support.
- Panthera works with ranchers across the Jaguar Corridor teaching them how they can safely and sustainably prevent jaguar attacks on their livestock. These techniques range from simple fixes like affixing bells on cattle collars to more complex projects like building night corrals for calves, setting up solar-powered electric fences and giving ranchers an aggressive breed like water buffalo that will stand up to a prowling jaguar.
- We work with governments and companies across the Jaguar Corridor to ensure infrastructure is wildlife-friendly. For example, we study road crossings to measure wildlife mortality and help design safe wildlife crossing areas.
- We are investigating the growing trade in jaguar parts and working with government and law enforcement agencies to recognize and seize trafficked wildlife products. We are also conducting public awareness campaigns in key jaguar range countries to shine a light on the impacts of the illegal wildlife trade.
Why was it created?
When Panthera was founded in 2006, our intention was not to create yet another conservation organization. The founders realized that despite the extraordinary investments of time, experience and financial capital by many committed people, the world still seemed fated to lose its large carnivores, including the big cats. Panthera was founded to try a different approach: prioritizing wild cats as the means to secure the vast landscapes they roam and all the wildlife and human communities those landscapes support.
- 14 jaguar range countries signed onto the Jaguar 2030 Conservation Roadmap.
- Supported the creation of a protected mosaic in the San Lucas Forest, Colombia, a key link between jaguars in Central America and South America.
- Currently supporting conflict reduction on over 50 ranches across Central and South America.
- Supported Belize Government’s new plans to protect key areas of the Jaguar Corridor in central Belize.
- Supported a binational program to patrol protected areas on both sides of the Guatemala/Honduras border.
- Worked with Costa Rican government to build wildlife-friendly accommodations on a hydroelectric dam and major highways.
Wild cats across the globe are most threatened by illegal hunting for their parts to feed the international illegal wildlife trade, loss of prey, conflict between wild cats and livestock ranchers/herders, habitat and travelling corridor loss and, in some places, unsustainable legal hunting.
Within protected areas, jaguars are threatened by unsustainable hunting of their prey. Increasingly, jaguars are also targeted across their range for their claws, teeth and other parts for sale in the illegal wildlife trade.
Jaguars are unique in that they are genetically linked across their range from northern Mexico to northern Argentina. Many areas of what we call the Jaguar Corridor, though, are threatened by development, such as roads and hydroelectric projects, that block jaguar movement between protected areas. In addition, jaguars are often killed outside of protected areas by livestock ranchers in retaliation to or to prevent attacks on their livestock. If jaguars cannot safely move between protected areas, individual jaguar populations will become genetically isolated and homogenous, threatening their ability to adapt to changing conditions.
- Deepen and expand our site security presence in protected areas across jaguar range.
- Expand our conflict reduction program into new areas and countries, including Honduras.
- Expand our investigations into the jaguar part trade and our programs to combat the trade
A disturbing reflection
Jaguars have been eradicated from 40% of their historic range and are extinct in two countries, El Salvador and Uruguay.
A reflection for hope
“The fact that jaguars have been more resilient and, in many ways, more lucky in their survival than other big cats is EXACTLY why we should focus our attention and conservation efforts on them. This could be the world’s greatest success story for large carnivore conservation and show how big predators such as these can indeed live with humans.”
Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, Panthera Co-Founder, 1953-2018
How can I help?
Visit our website at www.panthera.org to learn more about wild cats and our conservation programs and to make a donation. Help our scientists identify wildlife, humans and objects caught on our camera traps at https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/panthera-research/camera-catalogue.
Sources of funding
Panthera is funded by a combination of funding from governments, private foundations, corporations and individuals.
In southern Mexico, we worked with a rancher who had lost over 25 sheep in less than a week due to carnivore predation. He knew his ranch couldn’t survive with continued losses, so he turned to Panthera for help. On his ranch, we built a night corral to protect vulnerable young livestock and solar-powered electric fences to keep jaguars and other carnivores off of the ranch. We also taught him how to rotate the location of the day corrals in order to maximize the grazing potential of his land. Since we upgraded his ranch, he has experienced no livestock losses. This ranch now hosts workshops for other ranchers in the area who want to learn how to prevent carnivore attacks.
An example to follow
Mauro Zavala is the last park ranger standing at Jeannette Kawas National Park. He was born in the north coast of Honduras, right in the middle of what today is known as the Jaguar Coastal Corridor, an area that still holds the most important biodiversity hotspots for Honduras, including areas such as Pico Bonito, Jeannette Kawas and Texiguat protected areas. Working as an ecotour guide, he came to realize the beauty and economic potential of this areas for the local communities; he also became acquainted with the threats that could destroy this amazing part of Honduras. After traveling the world working as a sailor, he made a long stop in Spain to study biology and that is when he confirmed his passion and call to commit to save the rain forest. He has been working as park ranger for six years.
Mauro works for PROLANSATE, the NGO in charge of the management of Jeannette Kawas National Park. They are responsible for protecting the park against the main threats: deforestation (mainly due to oil palm plantations), illegal fishing and poachers. This is no easy task as it means not only having to face the few rebellious local villagers, but sometimes also outsiders who enter the park with bad intentions. The working conditions for a ranger in this coastal park are not easy: extremely hot weather, legions of mosquitos, scarce drinking water, difficult communications and strong hurricanes. Despite the difficulties, Mauro undertakes his work with passion and charisma and has made sure to enforce the law, becoming a hero to those who want to do things right and a villain to others.
A world where humans and wild cats thrive together.
A good habit
With climate change at the forefront of the environmental discussion, remember that maintaining biodiversity through species conservation still needs your support and is key to the long-term health of the Earth.