Jaguars, livestock and people: An example of peaceful coexistence in NW Belize

Miller, Carolyn M. (2002) Jaguars, livestock and people: An example of peaceful coexistence in NW Belize. Wildlife Conservation Society, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, pp. 477-491.

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    Abstract

    Frequently, human predator interaction is negative. An example of “peaceful coexistence” between jaguars Panthera onca) and people can be found in northwestern Belize. Good livestock husbandry and strict wildlife protection at Gallon Jug have evidently been positive for jaguars with no resultant losses to livestock although approximately 150 head of cattle have been resident for about 10 years. Gallon Jug, which lies at the center of a vast forested area, bans hunting and controls access via security gates. Jaguars appear conspicuous and it is likely that their numbers are relatively high. Because they are frequently seen, jaguars have benefitted local tourism. Log book sightings of wildlife maintained by a local ecotourism lodge were compiled and augmented with additional data including camera-trapping. Types of sightings and jaguar human interactions are discussed. No aggressive interactions have been reported. Corn grown on the farm may be an important food resource augmenting already healthy populations of jaguar prey species such as white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus), peccary Tayassu pecari, Pecari tajacu) and turkey Meleagris ocellata). A healthy prey base, sound livestock husbandry, and fenced livestock separated from the forest are factors that appear to discourage jaguar depredation on cattle. The Gallon Jug area appears important for source populations that likely disperse throughout the greater tri-national Selva Maya area.

    Item Type: Book Section
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      Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
      Keywords: Panthera onca predation livestock Belize Gallon Jug
      Subjects: (A) Biodiversity > (AG) Mammals > (AGB) Carnivores
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3D) Other or Unspecified
      Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2010 06:00
      Last Modified: 13 Dec 2011 10:17
      URI: http://eprints.uberibz.org/id/eprint/757

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