As part of our continuing partnership with Naturalia, NJP has co-sponsored a series of community meetings with prominent landowners and the local livestock association. During each of these gatherings, ranch owners have expressed genuine interest in participating in conservation programs – ranging from hosting ecotours to being directly engaged in research and management.
These landowners occupy the area surrounding the Northern Jaguar Reserve and are for the most part now all participants in the Feline Photo Project. In fact, their suggestions were used to shape the program’s initial expectations and methods. In 2010, many of these ranchers self-organized to form a new group “Rancheros Amigos de la Reserva del Jaguar del Norte” (Rancher Friends of the Northern Jaguar Reserve). We consider it a very good sign that our neighbors are becomingly increasingly predator tolerant, demonstrating interest in conservation ranch management strategies, and embracing the reserve as a welcome part of their community.
We hope to capitalize on the growing local appreciation for jaguars by developing environmental education activities that encourage people to consider why the preservation of species is so important. With this, we will continue to see rancher attitudes, commitments, and perceptions blossom in support of wildlife.