'Yaguará' is the native word for jaguar. We chose this name for our organization as a symbol of how important we consider it is to link scientific work with involving local people in order to effectively protect the jaguar and many other species. By using the jaguar's original name, we show that we respect its origin.
Thanks to a vision based on respect, we are a model organization in the conservation of wild cats and other wildlife. The work with local people, the collaboration with the National Park System and the valuable data generated through our scientific research have all contributed to increasing chances of survival for jaguar populations, and their prey, throughout their range of distribution in two key countries (Panamá and Costa Rica).
Aida is Costa Rican with a dual citizenship (her mom is Panamanian). She is a forestry engineer and has an M.S. in Wildlife Conservation and Management. Her passion for wild cats is thanks to a number of different influences in her life but mainly a fascination for cheetahs.
Her work with wild cats in the Osa Peninsula started in 2003 and she has lived here since 2006, when she founded the Wildcat Conservation Program. Despite initial skepticism (a lot of key people didn't believe there were any jaguars left in the area, so raising funds to begin the project was difficult), she was able to start a pilot study, supported by Idea Wild and Saint Louis Rainforest Advocates, that proved there were jaguars on the Peninsula. As a direct result of these findings the program received support from the Wildlife Conservation Society and Osa Conservation and was finally able to implement the most intensive camera-trap project in the world!
She founded Yaguará in 2009 with the mission to broaden her work in the Osa Peninsula, other parts of Costa Rica and Panamá. Thanks to her research and vision, the program now runs several projects including ongoing research using camera traps and work with local people (poachers, cattle ranchers, communities, children, lodges and other institutions). All this gives Yaguará hope to be able to save the jaguars of the Osa Peninsula which are in critical danger of extinction.
Ricardo is Panamanian. He graduated as a biologist from Panama University with an M.S. in Wildlife Conservation and Management. Since he was 14 he has been particularly interested in domestic cats which makes his choice of profession easy to understand!
Ricardo has over 15 years experience working with wildcats and was the first Panamanian to work with wildcats in his country –something considered impossible at the time. He worked with the Smithsonian’s ocelot project in Barro Colorado Island for a number of years and then did his thesis at the Cana station of Darien National Park (thanks to financial support from the Wildlife Conservation Society and logistical support from Ancon Expeditions).
Ricardo met Aida in 2005 and she passed on her love for the Osa!
Adolfo is an agronomist and graduated from the EARTH University with a focus on sustainability and working with people. He has an enormous ability to win the appreciation of everyone who surrounds him thanks to his modesty and willingness to help in everything possible. Since July of 2010 he works fulltime on Yaguara's projects.
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