What is Episode 57 all about?
Today’s episode is special for more than one reason. Not only is it the first episode of 2022, but it is also Part 1 of the Costa Rica: Life, Lava & Forests series! In November 2021, I traveled to Costa Rica to experience the country’s incredible biodiversity and gain firsthand knowledge about the issues that conservationists are facing, because, as we all know, protecting wild places is not easy.
In this series, you’ll hear experts from Costa Rica and all over the world share their knowledge about various charismatic species, such as sea turtles, humpback whales, and jaguars. You’ll also hear discussions about the darker sides of conservation in Central America, like the illegal wildlife trade, poaching, murder, plastic pollution, and being a woman leader in a male-dominated society. But don’t worry, in true Rewildology fashion, there’s also lots of laughing, cursing, and drinking. We leave no stones unturned in this series and I promise you’re going to learn a ton from every guest.
We’re starting the series with a bang and chatting about a predator that you might associate more with Brazil than Costa Rica: jaguars. Yes, jaguars. The Western Hemisphere’s largest cat resides in the rainforests of Costa Rica and plays a vital role in maintaining ecosystem balance. But don’t just take my word, for today’s guest, Juan Carlos Cruz, has spent the past twelve years studying this beautiful and elusive big cat. We chat all things jaguars, such as their relation to the more famous jaguar populations in South America, jaguars versus pumas (or mountain lions) and the difference between their ecological roles, the relationship between jaguars and sea turtles, and how Juan is working diligently to converse these cats by co-founding Nama Conservation, a non-profit dedicated to protecting jaguar habitat by working with local communities.
Alright, let’s get to today’s episode with Juan.
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Links & Resources
University of Massachusetts: https://eco.umass.edu/people/graduate-students/cruz-diaz-juan-carlos/
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