Welcome to my blog, The Jaguar and its Allies. This blog will focus on conservation, particularly of jaguars. It will contain news, research findings, and possibly even some thinking. I will also post occasional calls to action from nonprofit organizations I support, but what you do with them is up to you.
Since I will be organizing this blog, it is important if you know a little about me. Since I was a child I have been intensely interested in animals. But I am not a generalist. While I realize that all creatures play important roles in their respective ecosystems, there are certain species that fascinate me more than any others. Chief among these is the jaguar. No other animal commands my attention as completely as Panthera onca (the scientific name for jaguars).
My passion for jaguars, strong though it is, developed recently. I largely abandoned my love of nature in high school, focusing instead on more popular pursuits. It was also during this time that I discovered I was good at working with people. Therefore I earned my Bachelor’s degree in psychology, after a brief stint as an outdoor education major.
After a turbulent but important year in Seattle as part of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, I began studying for a Master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. But by then I had learned too much about myself, and I began to doubt my path. The nail was hammered into the coffin when, after reaching out to Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, I conducted some minor volunteer research pertaining to jaguars. I have since left my counseling program, and am trying to find a way to use my training in psychology to benefit jaguars.
That brings me to this blog. More than anything, it is a way for me to share my passion with all of you. It will be at least a year before I can begin any new graduate studies, and I cannot contain my enthusiasm until then. I also hope to accomplish some good. I realize that an amateur blog written by some guy is not going to change the world. But perhaps by communicating my love of wildlife over the internet, I can motivate a few readers to learn more. That would be enough for me.
I welcome your input on any of my posts. The Jaguar and its Allies is a site where everyone is free to share their opinion, provided they do so respectfully.