Three students from the University of East Anglia (UEA) arrived in Belize this week to carry out research that will benefit wild Jaguars. The research projects are part of their MSc studies in Applied Ecology and Conservation. Working with a local Belizean organisation, Programme for Belize (PfB), who owns and manages a 252,000 acre reserve in northern Belize, the students will be looking at:
- The economic benefits to the local communities of conservation
- The effects of vegetation type on the prey species of the Jaguar and Puma
- The effects of logging on Jaguar prey
Jaguars once roamed free from Texas to Argentina, but are now extinct over much of their former range. However, Belize is a stronghold for Jaguars, and while they are difficult to see, their footprints are often spotted in the reserves.
Jaguar Cars has been supporting conservation in Belize for over 10 years, and their latest grant is to the World Land Trust (WLT), who has initiated this imaginative joint programme with PfB and UEA. The results of the investigations will help with the long term goals; to ensure that sufficient income is generated to pay for the conservation, and that local people are able to derive significant benefits.