Kimberly Craighead and Milton Yacelga have been pursuing their most exciting venture since founding Kaminando and establishing their big-cat research station in the Mamoní Valley in 2015. To augment their extensive array of camera traps along the continental divide, they have been seeking permission from Panama’s Ministry of Environment to install collars with geolocalization on jaguars.

After having their initial request rejected, they brought in wildlife biologist Rocky McBride to share his extensive experience in capturing jaguars with specialized dogs, in order to install such collars. To date, the scientist has managed to capture more than 100 jaguars and more than 600 cougars in Central, South and North America.  McBride currently resides in Paraguay, where his Yaguarete organization, together with the government of that country, works in the placement of geolocation collars to determine movements of jaguars, as well as assess the loss of their habitat and the impact of conflict between human beings and this animal species.

McBride, along with Kimberly, Milton and others, toured the Valley and spoke with local newspaper “La Prensa” about their perspectives on the future of the jaguars.  McBride’s findings and detailed recommendations have been passed on to the Ministry of Environment along with a request for reconsideration.

Jaguars are not a threat to the ecosystem, but the ecosystem does threaten jaguars, due primarily to competition between the jaguars and the inhabitants of the rural and indigenous areas that compete for the same source of food. The purpose of Kaminando’s proposed study is to determine the specific threats that jaguars face in Panama.  We eagerly await hearing that the Ministry of Environment recognizes the importance of the proposed study and grants the permit.

Learn more about Kaminando’s Habitat for Connectivity Initiative >>here<<