Jaguar relocated within Iwokrama Forest

The jaguar about to be released into the wild.

A jaguar which had been frequenting Fair View Village within the Iwokrama Rainforest reserve, has been trapped and relocated.

According to a press release from Iwokrama International Centre (IIC), last Thursday villagers from Fair View, the only community within the boundaries of the Iwokrama Forest, informed Iwokrama’s Management that they had trapped a jaguar which had been frequenting the village, in particular, hunting dogs. The IIC sought the assistance of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission, Panthera, the Protected Areas Commission, and Matt Hallett of the University of Florida, who is currently conducting PhD research on Jaguars in Guyana.

The IIC statement said that the following morning an expert team from the Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission arrived at Fair View Village, and with the assistance of the villagers and qualified Iwokrama Rangers were able to secure the animal in a special cage. The team was then able to successfully relocate the jaguar in another area within the Iwokrama Forest, away from the village.

According to the release, Iwokrama rangers and a team from the Rupununi Wildlife Research Unit, led by biologist Meshach Pierre, and University of Guyana students will be monitoring the movement and well-being of the relocated jaguar with motion-sensor cameras which will be placed in the immediate vicinity of the release site and the area surrounding Fair View Village.

This effort which is part of on-going research between Iwokrama and the University of Florida to collaboratively monitor the impact of sustainable timber harvesting activities on large mammals within the preserve, is funded by the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, the statement said.

Research to date indicates that the Iwokrama Forest supports healthy populations of jaguars and their prey, both within areas designated for wilderness preservation and sustainable utilization.

Although Fair View Village exists within the Iwokrama Forest, human-jaguar conflict happens only intermittently, according to the IIC release. This is generally mitigated by support from Iwokrama, the actions of village leadership and the tolerance of local wildlife by village residents.

Panthera is a global organization that is devoted to the conservation of wild cats and has a Memorandum of Understanding with Iwokrama. It has been conducting research in Guyana since 2011, and works with local scientists and experts.

Most of the work, so far, has been conducted in the Rupununi savannahs which serve as a hotspot for biodiversity, and is potentially a crucial area for connecting Guyana’s jaguar populations with those of the Amazon.

 

The Iwokrama statement advises villages or persons who have issues with jaguars not to engage directly with the animal for safety reasons, but to make contact with the Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission at telephone number 223-0331, or via Email at, wildlifescientificcommittee@gmail.com.

IIC noted that the Jaguar (Pantera onca) and all of the other five species of cats in Guyana are protected by law.

 

 

 

 

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