“The Jaguar Corridor exists today because the jaguar shaped it and owned it, overcoming all obstacles that stood in its way. Although human beings are relative latecomers to the story of the jaguar, they are the crucial determinant in what comes next for the species.”
Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, Panthera
The Jaguar Corridor
Almost two decades ago, Panthera co-founder Dr. Alan Rabinowitz catalyzed a profound shift in jaguar conservation. All jaguars, it had recently been discovered, shared the same DNA. That genetic integrity, preserved across thousands of miles, meant that jaguars were living and breeding and dispersing along a connected path throughout the entirety of their range. To save the jaguar, Dr. Rabinowitz proposed, would require ensuring their safe passage along that path, from northern Mexico to northern Argentina. Christening it the Jaguar Corridor, Dr. Rabinowitz set the stage for one of the most ambitious conservation efforts in the world.
The 5,000 mile Jaguar Corridor meanders through protected areas, as well as places where humans have also made their mark: citrus groves, cattle ranches, palm oil plantations, and even the Panama Canal. It is in these mostly unprotected corridors where jaguars encounter the most danger. Loss of habitat and natural prey, plus increased encounters with humans that are often deadly to the cats, can lead to the isolation of jaguar populations. Their gene pools become more shallow, diminishing their legendary resilience. From isolation, it’s a slippery slope to extinction.
Panthera’s Jaguar Corridor Initiative seeks to protect jaguars across their entire range. In partnership with governments, corporations, and local communities, Panthera is working to preserve the genetic integrity of the jaguar by protecting core jaguar populations and the vital connectivity that has sustained them for hundreds of thousands of years.