Gov’t, conservation group partner to protect jaguars

The Panthera delegation meeting with Minister Robert Persaud (at head of table)

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the world’s leading wildcat conservation group Panthera Corporation aimed at conserving jaguars in Guyana.

Guyana is the latest country to partner with Panthera in a regional effort to conserve the species and facilitate genetic flow between important jaguar habitats, the ministry said in a press release.

The jaguar is the country’s national animal.

The Panthera delegation meeting with Minister Robert Persaud (at head of table)
The Panthera delegation meeting with Minister Robert Persaud (at head of table)

The MOU also provides a framework for research and surveys on jaguars, public education on the behaviours of these cats and the examination of economic opportunities associated with jaguar conservation. Initial works under the agreement will focus on research, education and identifying opportunities for jaguar conservation and related tourism activities.

Panthera will also provide technical and scientific expertise on conservation priorities, jaguar movement models and other resources aimed at facilitating long term benefits to local stakeholders and the country as a whole, the ministry said.

The MOU will also provide a solid foundation for new initiatives to understand and mitigate conflicts between humans and jaguars. These initiatives may include grants for local researchers, research institutions and the development of a conflict response mechanism to deal with problem animals, the ministry further stated.

In recent years a number of jaguars have been killed along the coast and in the interior for preying on livestock.

From this MOU, Guyana will now be in a better position to benefit from this regional project, release added. The Protected Areas Commission (PAC) has been identified by the ministry as the focal agency for this initiative and it will be moving forward shortly with the development of sub-agreements and project documents for on the ground implementation.

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