Every year, dozens of jaguars and other wild cats are killed in accidents when crossing highways in Costa Rica.
The jaguar (Panthera onca) is a national symbol for Costa Rica. However, wildlife experts warn their protection still lacks attention and public commitment.
Most of the time, wild cats migrate because they are seeking food, running from sudden climate variations, or searching for a mate. Without necessary safeguards, they are susceptible to crossing roads and highways that transport an ever-growing population.
“We still have a lot of weaknesses,” said Daniel Araya, who coordinates the Wildlife Friendly Ways project of the Jaguar Corridor Initiative in Costa Rica. “All has been done on a goodwill basis. There is currently no legislation that obliges the government to implement the set of guidelines that we propose.”
The Jaguar Corridor Initiative is a mission of Panthera, an organization dedicated to the conservation of wild cats species worldwide. In Costa Rica, they advise the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Works and Transport to mitigate the impact of highways on wildlife.