Introduction

Me.
Me.

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.

My housemates and I from LVC.
My housemates and I from LVC.

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.

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11 thoughts on “Introduction

        1. I apologize, I didn’t mean connect in a physical sense. Big cats are wild animals, and I would never recommend trying to interact with one like a house cat. I meant there’s something about wild felids that captures my attention and interest more than most other animals. I also have a few cat-like personality traits, such as a rather independent nature.

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  1. Hey dude!!! Your profile snap does like kinda feral in a felid sorta way, was that intentional hahaha or some sort of Freudian manifestation of your cat-like personality traits?
    I have been meaning to do a short story with talking animals for characters maybe this is the sign I been waiting for
    Cheers
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never realized that before! I definitely wasn’t trying to look like a cat in my pic, this is just pretty much the only good photo I have of myself. But now that I think about it I do seem to have some cat-like personality traits…like being hard to photograph. I don’t lick myself though.

      When you write that story I definitely want to read it! I’m gonna follow you so I don’t miss out.

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  2. Hi Josh,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. I think we have a lot in common, especially when you say “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 think I have the exact same feeling. Can’t say I could choose one favorite animal though, there are quite a few favorites, although I have to say that unlike yourself I lean more towards the reptiles. Look forward to exploring your blog more.
    Laura

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Laura! I definitely feel more drawn to jaguars than most other animals. But of course I’m interested in a whole host of species. In fact since I started devoting serious attention to learning about jaguars I’ve become more interested in ecology in general. It’s become clear to me that focusing solely on one species isn’t enough, because in nature everything is connected. If we want healthy populations of apex predators (like big cats), we need healthy ecosystems: and vice versa. Therefore I consider jaguars to be my “gateway species.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words! It’s wonderful to hear from someone else who is in my position. There are lots of ways you can volunteer to help animals: from helping to support conservation organizations to donating your time to a local animal shelter. Or, like me, you can focus on becoming a social scientist who specializes in conservation work. It’s really up to you, and using your head to follow your heart.

      Do you have any ideas about how you might be a mental health counselor and help animals as well? I don’t want to directly say which route you should choose, because you know yourself better than I do. But I’d be more than happy to chat with you and help you think more about this.

      Thanks for visiting my blog!

      Liked by 1 person

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