The story of rookie researchers who ventured into the Peruvian Amazon to help conserve jaguars.

Conservation

The eyes of the jaguars

JAGUARS hold a central place in the spiritual and ecological life of the Amazon. These majestic and nomadic creatures are the dominant predator in the Americas and have traditionally ranged from Mexico to Argentina.

However, jaguar population numbers are declining. Some reasons include: loss of habitat, declining prey base, interaction with humans and climate variability. The once mighty jaguar is now considered near-threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2013 red list, which means that it could become extinct in the near future.

Peru is a country in South America that has jaguars, but very little is known about them. Our project sought to help to change that.

The eyes of the people

Although there is a lack of data, there is an abundance of local knowledge. The local people who live in the conservation areas are the “eyes” of the jungle. They know a lot about jaguars. The problem is: how to extract their expertise in a way that can be used for modelling.

The other source of “eyes” is from experts around the world. The problem is: since it is difficult to “bring the experts to the Amazon”, now can we “bring the Amazon to the experts”?