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Madre de Dios becomes the first region in Peru that implements measures to promote coexistence between jaguar and people.

  • 60+ camera traps have been installed to monitor the presence of jaguars on cattle ranches.
  • This coexistence initiative is expected to be scaled up to other regions such as Pasco and Huánuco.

Four years ago, 250 families in Madre de Dios opted for a new and innovative ranching model that seeks to halt deforestation and restore the ecosystem: regenerative cattle ranching. As a result, the deforestation of 500 hectares has been avoided and wildlife is returning to areas that were once their home. However, this change may generate potential conflicts between wildlife and people. That reality creates the necessity of adopting measures that contribute to promote harmonious coexistence.

In this context, between 2022 and 2023, surveys and participatory workshops were conducted in 09 cattle ranching communities in the region, to identify and understand the conflicts, and gather information that will facilitate the design of strategies for coexistence with wildlife. The main results include: 1) the conflict with the jaguar and puma is the one that causes the greatest economic losses; 2) during the last 5 years, 18 out of 50 ranchers reported attacks on their livestock by jaguars or pumas; and 3) the infrastructure of the farms (fences, water sources, and lighting) facilitates negative interactions with the felines. 

Thanks to this information, anti-predator strategies were designed together with the ranchers, including the installation of more than 60 camera traps to monitor the presence of jaguars on the farms. Also, other measures like the improvement of fencing infrastructure to prevent the entrance of felines, the installation of dissuasive lights and the reallocation of spaces, such as corrals and water sources, in order to reduce vulnerable areas for interactions between livestock and felines.

"Madre de Dios is the first region in Peru that is adopting measures to reduce conflict with this big cat, and it is expected that by 2025 more than 10 cattle ranching families will implement actions that reduce conflict with wildlife. In addition, the possibility of scaling up coexistence initiatives to other regions such as Pasco and Huánuco is being considered," says Fabiola La Rosa, Wildlife Officer for WWF Peru.

"In my family we no longer see it as an enemy, thanks to the measures implemented with the monitoring system and the field schools, we are now aware that there are more visitors and we are the ones who have invaded its habitat. We have to give space to our neighbor, the jaguar, so that we can coexist in harmony with him", says Maritza Vargas, a cattle rancher participating in the coexistence program.

With the implementation of anti-predator measures and joint efforts with local communities, a new chapter is being written on the relationship between wildlife and human activities in Madre de Dios. This innovative model lays the groundwork for a future where conservation and cattle ranching complement each other for the benefit of all, ensuring the livelihoods of future generations.