This is a long-term project which has been operating since 2009 in the northern and the chorotega regions of the country, since jaguars have been classified as pest species due to damage caused to domestic animals in Costa Rica, hence the need to address the predatory problem for domestic animals. This project seeks to educate and raise awareness among children and teachers of schools from the communities with greater incidence of feline attacks to cattle, so that they may be able to identify the main feline species in the country, their habitats, diet and behavior, in addition to explaining the reasons why such felines attack domestic animals.
And, finally, to work with cattle raisers for determining which areas are more likely to be attacked by these felines, in order to provide them with recommendations for handling such issues that are more in accordance with the economic possibilities of each farm owner.
It is worthwhile to educate communities, especially for their Educational Centers, in order to create a long-term strategy and promote the inclusion of fundamental aspects in the regular natural science study programs of schools and high schools.
We should start this process by knowing which species share their territory with us and what we can do to coexist.
Carnivores play a fundamental role in the dynamics of ecosystems. Infectious diseases constitute one of the causes for the reduction of their population. It is known that the fragmentation and destruction of their habitat can create conditions that promote the presence of different pathogens. Some of the main diseases affecting felines are: coronavirus, parvovirus, paramixovirus and Toxoplasma gondii.
There are two biotypes of coronavirus that affect felines: the feline infectious peritonitis and the enteric feline coronavirus, which cause from clinically inapparent enteritis to pleural peritonitis and strokes. In felines, parvovirus causes a highly contagious and lethal disease called panleucopenia, highly prevalent in Costa Rica. The paramixovirus has been described mainly in domestic dogs, although it has been diagnosed in different species of felines in recent years. Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan of zoonotic importance, whose final hosts are felines.
This project intends to detect infectious diseases by making a descriptive analysis of the data and establishing the relationship between some environmental characteristics and the presence of the virus in the feces of wild jaguars in Costa Rica
Parallel to the genetics project, we are looking for endoparasites in the feces of jaguars, which is important because we can find parasites of the Toxocara, Paragonimus and Spirometra genii. The first one can cause the syndrome known as adult larva migrans visceral species in humans. The second and third ones may parasite the human lungs and intestines, respectively. In addition, Crytosporidium sp, Cyclospora sp and Isospora sp are protozoans eventually found in humans associated to immune-suppression processes. The same can be said about the presence of macrosporidia, which are fungi found in AIDS-infected individuals. It is not known whether there are similar effects present in humans that may compromise wild feline populations in the country
We at the Jaguar Foundation wish to express our deepest thanks to the contributors, who, like us, have believed in the importance of supporting the efforts of the state Universities in the conservation and preservation of the jaguar.