Project to restore critical wild cat habitats in Panama could start in 2021
As part of a strategic alliance between the Ministry of the Environment and the Yaguará Foundation, this year it is expected to launch the project "Conservation of wild cats and their prey", to generate local and regional environmental benefits, through the rehabilitation of critical habitats.
This initiative, which will be developed through public-private partnerships, will increase the connectivity between the Chagres National Park and the Darien National Park, thereby contributing to the conservation of endangered species such as jaguars.
In Panama there are at least six species of wild cats:
- Jaguar (Panthera onca)
- Puma (Puma concolor)
- Ocelot or manigordo (Leopardus pardalis)
- The yaguarundi or Congo tigrillo (Puma yagouaroundi)
- Margay or tigrillo (Leopardus wiedii)
- The oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus).
According to MiAmbiente, all these felines are threatened by the decline and fragmentation of their habitat, the scarcity of their prey, poaching and illegal trade. This has been evidenced after a year of monitoring with "camera traps" in the parks.
"The human being as part of nature, must learn to coexist with the other species with which it coexists," said Erick Nuñez, head of the Biodiversity Department of the entity.
He added that the disappearance of these animals produces an imbalance in the functioning of ecosystems, which ultimately "also negatively influences our quality and way of life."
Within the framework of the National Day of Wild Felines in Panama, MAmbiente and the United Nations Program (UNDP) organized a conference called "Protecting the jaguar and forests to protect people."
This, with the aim of making a call to celebrate that day with activities that educate on the importance of executing actions in order to preserve the wild cats that exist in the national territory.