First photos of jaguars in Colombian oil palm plantation bring hope for jaguar migration10/06/2012 22:14:18 Camera traps capture jaguars in plantations
June 2012. Camera traps have provided the first photographic evidence of wild jaguars with cubs in an oil palm plantation in Colombia, including photos of two male jaguars and a female jaguar with cubs, and a video of a jaguar male.
Ever-increasing oil palm plantations
Tigers avoid palm plantations
Panthera's Northern South America Jaguar Program Director, Dr. Esteban Payan, explained, "Typically, jaguars can move across human-dominated landscapes by travelling through riparian forests or using road underpasses, but until now, scientists had no photographic proof that jaguars entered oil palm developments in this region."
Connecting Jaguar habitats
Panthera's Jaguar Corridor Initiative seeks to connect and protect jaguar populations from Argentina to Mexico within human dominated landscapes, such as oil palm plantations, to preserve the species' genetic diversity. Cupped between Panama to the north and a handful of South American countries, Colombia holds the key to the jaguar's passage from Central America to South America.
Panthera's Jaguar Program Executive Director, Dr. Howard Quigley, stated "Human development in the shape of large monocultures, like oil palm plantations, are drastically changing the face of the planet, creating refugees out of wild cats by breaking up their habitats and forcing them to live within smaller, often degraded, and more isolated pockets of land. Data collected through Panthera's Jaguar Corridor Initiative are critical for oil palm growers, national policy makers and local governments in their decision making so they can account for the needs of jaguars across their range and minimize impacts on wildlife."
Panthera promotes sustainable oil palm practices, asking farmers to adhere to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Recommendations to help curb the negative impacts of extensive agriculture development on biodiversity and enable initiatives like the Jaguar Corridor to become a reality.
Quigley added, "Our data suggest that plantations can be part of a landscape mosaic that jaguars will use. But careful planning that avoids large-scale replacement of forest with huge palm oil areas will be essential if we want to avoid the kind of isolation that tigers now suffer."
About the Jaguar Corridor Initiative