Feline Conservation Program

Image: Antonio López Cen

Background and objectives

Six species of felids inhabit in Mexico, five of which live in the Yucatan Peninsula: the jaguar (Panthera onca), cougar (Puma concolor), jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi), margay (Leopardus wiedii) and ocelot (Leopardus pardalis). Felids have several ecological roles within terrestrial ecosystems: as predators regulate the population size of prey through the predator-prey relationship, as competitors intervene in competition processes with other felids and canids. In some cases, they function as secondary seed dispersers. So, they intervene in the maintenance of biodiversity and their presence is indicative of a healthy environment.

Felids require large areas to meet their basic needs for survival. However, the change in land use by extensive cattle husbandry, agriculture, tourism, road, or urban development modify their original habitat. Also, the loss of prey, indiscriminate hunting and conflicts with humans put their populations at risk.

Actually, the jaguar and margay are listed as near threat species in a global context. In Mexico, the jaguar, ocelot and margay are listed as extinction risk, and jaguarundi as threatened species.

How and where do we work?

Pronatura Peninsula de Yucatan A. C. initiated the monitoring of mammals in some regions by the technique of camera-traps in 2004. In 2008 it collaborates in Cenjaguar, a national program to know the state of jaguar populations in Mexico. From 2015 it is part of the network of private reserves to cooperate in the conservation of jaguar habitat.
Currently the program includes other felids and their prey present in the Peninsula. It covers four main lines: 1) to collect biological, ecological and felid threat factors, 2) to conserve the habitat, 3) to minimize conflicts with livestock farmers, and 3) to disseminate information about the importance of its conservation.

Feline Conservation Program Monitoring Zones.

Activities

We are participating in the monitoring of felids populations and their prey by camera-traps, particularly in the El Zapotal Private Reserve and nearby areas (Yucatan), the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, and Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve (Campeche). We apply actions for better livestock management and minimize feline attacks. We support students in topics such as diet, habitat and demography in collaboration with other organizations, government agencies and academics.

Last five years funding

Financiamiento en los últimos 5 años
Alianza WWF-Fundación Carlos Slim
Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (FMCN)
Fundación Roberto y Claudia Hernández
Fundación Alfredo Harp Halú
Alianza Itzincab
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
USFWS (Wildlife Without Borders-México)
Kraft-Foods (TANG)
MOVISTAR
CONANP
CONAFOR
SEMARNAT