Wild Cats of Panama, Eric Donoso and Johana Cedeño

c. Guillermo Duran

Eric Donoso and Johana Cedeño from Sociedad Mastozoológico de Panamá (SOMASPA) presented on the mysterious wild cats of Panama on September 21, 2012. They spoke of the five types of wild cats – jaguar, puma, ocelot, jaguarondi, and margay – that roam Panama and their research to study and protect the remaining cats in their natural habitats. “The stripes of a tiger are like human finger prints,” explained Eric, “they are unique to each animal.” Participants asked questions about what do to prevent cat species from attacking and eating their livestock. Eric offered three ideas for how to live alongside wild cat species: corrals to protect livestock, electric fences, and choosing specific times of year for livestock to give birth to their offspring.

After the presentations, participants took part in SOMASPA’s “visiting exhibition,” an initiative to bring and share knowledge to interested schools and organizations around Panama. This travelling exhibit includes posters exploring topics such as the diversity, natural history, threats and strategies for conserving wild Panamanian felines, as well as a display of cat skull replicas dating back to the prehistoric saber-tooth tiger. Many community members, including the Scouts Group 90 of Pedasí, came to learn about these beautiful animals.

Resources from their presentation:

Powerpoint on how to study felines in Panama

Powerpoint on SOMASPA’s traveling feline exhibit

Written by Sophie M. Fuchs