In May I shared a request for support from the Program for People and Wildlife (El Programa Gente y Fauna) in Costa Rica. They were attempting to raise funds for celebrations in several important communities for National Wild Cats’ Day (Día Nacional del Felino Silvestre): a holiday in Costa Rica designed to recognize the importance of wild felines. I have recently received an update indicating that your contributions are being put to good use.
As the notice on this page shows, el Programa Gente y Fauna has been able to celebrate with two of its target communities. In addition, preparations are underway for celebrations in two more. These festivities serve a crucial purpose.
The communities that the Programa Gente y Fauna is celebrating with all live in close proximity to wild felids like jaguars (Panthera onca), pumas (Puma concolor), ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), jaguarundis (Herpailurus yagouaroundi), and margays (Leopardus wiedii). While these are all amazing cats whose presence is necessary for the health of their respective ecosystems, it can sometimes be a challenge to live alongside them. The Programa Gente y Fauna has been working with the aforementioned communities to develop a system of financial incentives that would help offset the costs of sharing a landscape with these extraordinary animals. The celebrations that you have helped to fund will help strengthen the Programa Gente y Fauna’s relationships with these residents, which is essential for successful conservation.
Therefore I would like to join the Programa Gente y Fauna and say thank you for your support! You can read the original update (in Spanish) here, or visit the Programa Gente y Fauna’s Facebook page for photos and videos of the celebrations.