With so many of our incredible wildlife species under threat, the issue of conservation has never been more important. The 'near threatened' conservation status of the Jaguar has mobilised a number of high profile organisations in to action, with the implementation of programmes in vital habitats throughout South and Central America. While dedicated, eco-tourism activities like Jaguar watching expeditions play a huge role in raising the animal's profile, organisations like the JCF also play a very important part. |
The Jaguar Conservation Fund: JCF
"To promote the conservation of the Jaguar, its natural prey and habitat throughout the species’ geographical range, as well as its peaceful coexistence with man, through research and conservation strategies."
Set up in 2002, the JCF is dedicated to the support and development of projects and research throughout Brazil. The non-governmental agency was founded with the express purpose of promoting the conservation of the big cat and, since its foundation, has established a number of highly successful initiatives.
The JCF (also known as the Instituto Onça-Pintada) was founded by a team of highly experienced wildlife researchers, headed up by Leandro Silvero, the current president of the organisation. When it was set up, the JCF was one of only a handful of organisations to focus on the big cat (despite its rapidly declining population), and today it is the only non-governmental conservation entity dedicated solely to its conservation.
Where Does JCF Operate?
The animal's geographical distribution ranges from Argentina up to the southwestern reaches of the US, with nearly half the population lying within the borders of Brazil – which is why most Jaguar watching tours encompass the rich, biodiverse landscape of the Pantanal region.
The organisation is heavily committed to scientific research and development in the five significant biomes of Brazil: Pantanal, Caatinga, Amazon, Atlantic Forest and Cerrado. In 2004, with a view to initiate and facilitate communication between supporters and partners beyond Brazil, the JCF – US was founded.
Research, Initiatives and Programmes
The organisation's research focuses on a number of issues, including conflict with livestock ranchers and the long-term monitoring of the big cat's population and that of its prey species. Taking a holistic approach to the animal's conservation, JCF's projects also address far-reaching matters like the effects of global warming and the delicate balance of biodiversity in the region.
Some of the research programmes and initiatives JCF has implemented include:
• The Cerrado-Pantanal Corridor • How local communities perceive the species in five biomes • Araguaia River Biodiversity Corridor Project • Current distribution and conservation status of the species in Brazil • Distribution, genetics and oral health in free-ranging populations in Brazil • Long term population monitoring programme in the Pantanal • Ecological niche modelling and evaluation of geographic distribution • Population ecology in the Cantao State Park region • Epidemiologic relation between Panthera onca and domestic animals • Ecology and conservation of the species in the Emas National Park region
Support JCF and Other Conservation Organisations
Today, wildlife lovers are fortunate enough to be able to travel into prime habitats on Jaguar watching tours to observe this magnificent animal in its natural environment. In part, it's thanks to the dedication of organisations like JCF that these privileged opportunities exist. As a non-profit NGO, the organisation relies heavily on generous donations from their global supporters.
Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance nature writer with a special interest in Jaguar watching. Being passionate about her subject, Marissa chooses the expert-led Jaguar watching itineraries organised by Naturetrek, which have brought her unforgettable sightings of a wide range of wildlife in some of the most spectacular regions on Earth.
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