Rangers from Caribbean Guatemala have reported a rare sighting of the elusive Jaguar. It was spotted swimming across the pristine waters of Laguna Grande Nature Reserve nine years after the area was protected by Foundation for Eco-development and Conservation (FUNDAECO), in partnership with World Land Trust (WLT).
The Jaguar is an important predator in the Tropical Rainforest habitat of the Caribbean coast but, though it is often recorded by its spoor (tracks, territorial markings and scat) and trail cameras, it is rarely actually seen, especially during the day.
Emilio Pitan, one of the local leaders coordinating with FUNDAECO on the preservation of the tropical forests in this region, says that the sighting demonstrates the good health of the reserve and the importance of conservation at the larger landscape level, as Jaguars can have large individual territories.
A perk of the job
The video below was taken by one of FUNDAECO’s wildlife rangers, Samuel Yatz, who says “For us it was an incredible sight, this magnificent animal in the forests that we protect every day. We are very excited because it means we are doing a good job.”
Fellow ranger Ricardo Coc Caal added “We hope this demonstrates the relevance of conserving the last remaining forests of Caribbean Guatemala. We are very grateful for the help that our international donors from WLT give us to protect it each day.”
Ricardo’s salary is funded by WLT’s Keepers of the Wild programme, which ensures that reserves such as Laguna Grande can maintain long term protection from threats such as illegal logging and poaching. Sightings such as these prove how valuable the ongoing protection of these pristine water and forest habitats are for the wildlife of Guatemala.
WLT has been partnered with FUNDAECO for ten years, working to secure tropical forest and wetland habitats in Caribbean Guatemala as threats from development and agriculture increase.
As well as supporting ranger salaries through Keepers of the Wild, WLT is also currently raising funds for FUNDAECO to create a 2,500 acre reserve in Sierra Santa Cruz through the Treasure Chest Appeal, also home to big cats such as Jaguars, Ocelots and Pumas. Please donate to ensure this reserve is protected and given long-term protection by FUNDAECO, as Laguna Grande was nine years ago.