Someone Just Killed One of the Two Remaining Jaguars in the U.S.

Sascha Darlington's Microcosm Explored

I am angry and upset at the same time. I’d ask: when will we ever learn, but I know the answer to that.

Source: Someone Just Killed One of the Two Remaining Jaguars in the U.S.

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Instagram is Raising Awareness about Abusive Wildlife Selfies

from Josh Gross

The Jaguar

Photos like this fuel animal abuse and the illegal wildlife trade. Instagram has launched a campaign to educate users about the harm wildlife selfies can cause. Tigertemple by Dmitri 1999. CC BY 3.0

Wildlife selfies can be seriously problematic. In October, National Geographic published an investigative article on the trend of “selfie safaris,” in which tourists pay money to take pictures of themselves interacting with wild animals. This practice fuels animal abuse and threats to wild animal populations. In light of reports from National Geographic and other organizations, Instagram is stepping up.

In order to educate users about the harm caused by wildlife selfies, Instagram has initiated a new alert system. When users enter a hashtag that is related to wildlife selfies or the illegal wildlife trade, they will receive a pop-up warning them of the dangers associated with those activities. Users will then be able to follow links…

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Featured Blogger: Josh Gross

Photograph of a Jaguar in Brazil
Jaguar-Brazil2010k-4049.jpg by Dagget2. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

My featured Blogger this month is Josh Gross whose blog is The Jaguar
and its Allies.

I admire his passion for conservation and his dedication to saving the jaguar from extinction.

Josh is currently running a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for
research on jaguars in Guyana.

Q.) How long have you been blogging, Josh?

A.) I have blogged since June of 2015, so for about a year and a half.

Q.) What sparked your interest in conservation?

A.) I have always loved animals. As a child, I enjoyed looking for deer in local parks, going to the Cleveland Zoo, and learning everything I could about wild animals. I always wanted to contribute to their conservation, but figured I had the wrong skill set. So at first I settled on Psychology, specifically Mental Health Counseling. However, after carrying out some voluntary work for the Center of Biological Diversity, and after discovering Wild Safari Live, I knew what I had to do. So now, I’m trying to use my social science background to help wild animals.

Q.) Why jaguars in particular?

A.) Many reasons, with the first being where they live. Jaguars inhabit some of the most bio-diverse landscapes on Earth. In order to conserve top predators like jaguars, you have to conserve all the links of the food chain they depend on. They also perform valuable services by keeping the populations of large herbivores and smaller predators in check. By conserving jaguars, then, we can benefit entire tropical ecosystems.

Another reason I focus on jaguars is the social challenges involved in protecting them. These wide-ranging animals occasionally harm livestock, and every now and then humans. As such, it is impossible to conserve them without fostering strong relationships with local people. My training in Counseling, and Psychology more generally, makes me well suited for this task.

But most importantly, jaguars are extraordinary creatures. The more I learn about them, the more fascinating they seem. As Richard Mahler puts it in The Jaguar’s Shadow (2008), they are “miracles of evolution” that have “a right to exist.”

Q.) Why Guyana?

A.) Guyana is like nowhere else on Earth. This small, South American country is home to some of the largest tracts of unbroken rain forest in the world. This makes it a potential stronghold for threatened species like jaguars. However, reports of conflicts with jaguars are on the rise (J. Persaud, January 6, 2017, personal communication), It is therefore vital that I get in there now, in order to help address this conflict before it gets out of hand.

Photograph of a waterfall
Kaieteur Falls by David Stanley. CC BY 2.0.

Q.) Tell us a little about your campaign and research.

A.) For my thesis, I want to spend several weeks living among local communities in Guyana: learning about their beliefs regarding jaguars. Beliefs about large predators have been found to influence their acceptability (Inskip et al., 2016; Carter, Riley, & Liu, 2012; Slagle, Zajac, Bruskotter, Wilson, & Orange, 2013), making this an important topic to study. Communications with conservationists in Guyana have confirmed that it would be helpful to learn more about people’s jaguar-related beliefs. But in order to carry out this research I will need funding.

This is where my GoFundMe campaign comes in. When I was applying to Humboldt State University, all the information about my Master’s program stated that students perform their research during their second year. I assumed this meant I had a whole year to learn about conducting research, make contacts, and plan my thesis. But when classes began, my cohorts and I were strongly encouraged to do our fieldwork this summer. This gives me little time to get everything in order, while simultaneously taking on a full course load: compromising my ability to acquire grants. But I refuse to give up, and have recently launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for my research.

Q.) Will you blog while traveling and conducting research?

A.) I will try my best. I am going to have limited internet access while in Guyana, so I can’t make any promises. But I will take lots of notes and pictures, and will have plenty to write about when I return!

Thank you, Josh!

Photograph of Josh Gross
Josh Gross

The Jaguar and it’s Allies

The Jaguar’s Shadow

All referenced articles and images are cited here.

 

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Help to GoFund new Jaguar-Related Research

Please help Josh Gross fund his Master’s Research in Guyana — More about his GoFundMe Campaign on his blog.

The Jaguar

Jaguar Looking at Camera by Eric Kilby. CC BY-SA 2.0Jaguar Looking at Camera by Eric Kilby. CC BY-SA 2.0

Greetings everyone, this is a truly special post.

Two years ago, when I decided to leave my Counseling program at Cleveland State University, I had no idea where my journey would take me. Now I am planning to study people’s beliefs about jaguars in Guyana for my Master’s research. This is a remarkable development, but I need your help to make it happen.

My GoFundMe campaign is now live. For those who have not read my previous announcement, I am trying to fund as much of my field work as possible through donations from individuals like you. The reasons for this are both practical and idealistic.

First of all, I will have to leave for Guyana this summer: much earlier than I had realized. This leaves me with little time to apply for grants. Second, I want to…

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