Managing NGO, country: Panthera, Costa Rica
Project director(s): Roberto Salom-Pérez
Summary: The Jaguar Corridor Initiative is an international project promoted by Panthera and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), that aims to establish a biological corridor to connect several blocks of protected areas and forested areas in Mesoamerica, and more recently in South America, that are prime jaguar (Panthera onca) habitat. It has already identified the region’s most suitable areas for jaguars and their prey. In Costa Rica, Panthera has worked mainly in the most vulnerable sites along the country’s Atlantic slope: between the Central Volcanic Cordillera and the Talamanca Cordillera, and in between the Central Volcanic Cordillera and southeastern Nicaragua. Pilot projects are being developed in these areas with a goal of expanding to other key jaguar corridors in Mesoamerica.
Principle Accomplishments: Carried out field validation for the Jaguar Corridor in the area between the Central Volcanic Cordillera and the Talamanca Cordillera; consolidated the local committee of the Barbilla Biological Sub-corridor (part of the Central Volcanic – Talamanca Corridor); joined the National Network of Biological Corridors; supported the development of a management plan for Barbilla National Park; co-organized national workshops on conflicts between large felines and cattle (2008), analysis of the jaguar population and habitat (2009), analysis of the methodology to estimate jaguar population density in Central America (2010).
Lessons Learned: Working in biological corridors is a long-term commitment. Working with local communities is essential in guaranteeing the functionality of corridors. Collaboration with partners has a greater impact than working independently. The coexistence of large cats and cattle is possible, based on low-cost improvements in farm management.