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Picture yourself trekking through the jungle in search of the only big cat native to the Western Hemisphere, the jaguar. These iconic cats are revered in many cultures throughout Central and South America. It is thought in some cultures, that Shamans could transform themselves into the form of a jaguar. In the Amazon, the eyes of the jaguar was a reflection of a connection to the spiritual world, while the Ancient Mayans believed the spots on the coats of a jaguar represented the sky at night.
Although their presence has been highly respected, they are also the victims of the dangerously lucrative poaching industry. Jaguar numbers have rapidly decreased, and it is estimated that only 15,000 jaguars exist in the wild. That is where you come in. Through Jaguar Conservation and Volunteering programs, you can make a direct impact on the efforts to protect jaguar populations.
SEEtheWILD works with a few fantastic operators that are making strides in the data collection, research, and conservation of jaguars. These efforts are funded through conservation programs that you, the traveler and volunteer, can participate in. Whether it is through the on-the-ground environmental conservation, collecting data through camera traps, and more, these programs could not exist without your help!
Volunteering with Jaguar Conservation is available year-round, making it accessible for travelers who can only travel at certain times of the year. The programs typically range from 2 weeks or longer, however, some of our partners may have some flexibility.
Depending on the country you wish to visit, the weather may vary. If you are traveling to Costa Rica or Panama, December to April is typically the drier season, although, on the Caribbean side of the country, you may experience some rainfall.
If you are visiting the Amazon, namely, Brazil, you’ll experience less rainfall in July to December, and more rainfall in January to June. Either way, you are likely to experience some rainfall, as it is a rainforest!
It is important to know that when you are volunteering with jaguar conservation, it is entirely possible you may not see them. Jaguars are extremely resourceful and have found ways to protect themselves by being very elusive! Your contributions will mainly be through data collection, environmental conservation, research and assisting researchers. This information is very important to the protection of jaguars, as well as the development of conservation efforts, and your support of these programs is needed to continue this research!