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Jaguars of the Pantanal & Pumas of Patagonia: Ecotourism Fostering Conservation

South America’s largest wild cats are big attractions for nature travelers. But their welfare is at risk when they come into conflict with humans over livestock. Wildlife-focused ecotourism has proven to be an effective tool for the conservation of jaguars and pumas, mitigating conflict by enhancing social and economic development that benefits local people while having a positive impact on the destination. Join Brazilian Expedition Leader Helder Brandão de Oliveir and Mario Haberfeld, co-founder of jaguar conservation nonprofit Onçafari, to learn more about the big strides being made in protecting these wild predators while supporting local communities. Helder is an environmental manager in the Pantanal, Brazil’s largest and most diverse wildlife realm, working on various wildlife conservation projects for over a decade. He worked with Mario and Oncafari to develop habituation processes for jaguars, creating more exhilarating close encounters for visitors. And it’s paying off: in 2019, 98% of travelers to Caiman Ecological Refuge saw a jaguar, a massive increase in just a few years’ time. The result is that jaguar conservation is paying dividends to local people—and when you travel with Nat Hab, you’re part of that success story.


Originally presented April 19, 2021
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