New York, NY – Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization, today announced that natural resources entrepreneur and Panthera Board Member Ross Beaty and his family, through their Sitka Foundation, have committed CAD $5 million over 10 years to a joint program to protect jaguars and secure the Jaguar Corridor in eight countries: Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. The commitment is the largest ever made to Panthera’s Jaguar Corridor Initiative, one of the world’s most ambitious conservation efforts in size and scope.
The program’s focus areas constitute the northern reach of the Jaguar Corridor, the network of protected areas and human-dominated landscapes through which the jaguar travels from northern Mexico to Argentina. The viability of the Jaguar Corridor is imperative to maintaining the genetic diversity of the species, which gives jaguars a better chance of surviving in a rapidly changing world.
Mr. Beaty stated, “My family and I are pleased to support Panthera and its critical mission in Latin America. While the conservation challenges in the focus areas are vast, so are the opportunities, thanks to the groundwork that Panthera has laid. No one is better positioned than Panthera’s world-class team to implement the innovative, collaborative solutions that are so urgently needed. We are proud to be associated with this sweeping effort to save the jaguar and the incredible biodiversity that hinges on its survival.”
Mr. Beaty’s investment is focused primarily on building the long-term capacity of these countries to implement science-based solutions to the greatest threats facing jaguars and their habitat. The 18 staff members funded by the Foundation's program, most of whom are citizens of the countries in which they work, are leading some of Panthera’s most critical research, education, and policy efforts, including creating protected areas in imperiled jaguar habitats and corridors, training and equipping rangers to patrol existing protected areas, and teaching local communities how to co-exist with jaguars.
Panthera’s Jaguar Program Executive Director Dr. Howard Quigley said, “This remarkable pledge by Ross Beaty and his family is great news for Latin America's most iconic carnivore....as well as the spectacular array of wildlife that benefit from the jaguar's status as Latin America's most iconic umbrella species. With this sustained investment, we can now take the bold actions necessary to save jaguars, protect the vast spaces they inhabit, and uplift nearby communities.”
Panthera Chairman of the Board Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan added, "Few people today so beautifully symbolize environmental vision as do Ross and Trisha Beaty. In his brilliantly successful career and his philanthropic leadership, Ross is constantly ahead of his peers. With this decade-long commitment to the mission of Panthera’s Jaguar Corridor Initiative, the most ambitious carnivore conservation program in the world, Ross proves once again that his generosity is only matched by his impact on the conservation world."
Goals of this 10-year commitment include:
Creating new protected areas in Colombia’s San Lucas Range and Nicaragua’s Awaltara Territory
Increasing patrolling of Mexico’s Laguna de Terminos Natural Protected Area; Honduras’s Jeanette Kawas National Park, Cusuco National Park, and Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge; and Nicaragua’s Indio Maíz Biological Reserve
Reducing depredation of livestock and eliminating retaliatory killings of jaguars on over 40 ranches across Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia
Securing government recognition of jaguar corridors in Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico
Ensuring development projects in the Jaguar Corridor are wildlife friendly, including dam and highway projects in Costa Rica
Panthera, founded in 2006, is devoted exclusively to preserving wild cats and their critical role in the world’s ecosystems. Panthera’s team of leading biologists, law enforcement experts and wild cat advocates develop innovative strategies based on the best available science to protect cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards and tigers and their vast landscapes. In 36 countries around the world, Panthera works with a wide variety of stakeholders to reduce or eliminate the most pressing threats to wild cats—securing their future, and ours. Visit Panthera.org.
About the Jaguar Corridor Initiative
The Jaguar Corridor Initiative is the culmination of decades of research by conservation luminaries like Panthera CEO Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, Vice President Emeritus Dr. George Schaller, and Jaguar Program Executive Director Dr. Howard Quigley. In partnership with governments, corporations, and local communities, Panthera’s Jaguar Corridor Initiative is working to preserve the genetic integrity of the jaguar by connecting and protecting core jaguar populations in human landscapes from northern Mexico to Argentina. Throughout Latin America, jaguars are threatened by loss of habitats and corridors, killings in retaliation for livestock depredation, and overhunting of jaguar prey species. Mr. Beaty’s commitment will address all of these threats and help secure the northern half of the Jaguar Corridor as a region where jaguars and human communities grow and thrive together.
About Sitka Foundation
The Sitka Foundation is a Private Canadian family foundation founded by Ross and Trisha Beaty in 2007. Sitka Foundation’s mission is to be a catalyst in the protection of the environment and promotion of biodiversity. Sitka Foundation supports land and ocean conservation, scientific research on nature and the environment, education on the importance of a healthy environment, and public policy on ways to preserve and protect our environment. Visit sitkafoundation.org.