The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize is the only reserve in the world specifically established to conserve wild jaguars. A 128,000-acre expanse of tropical forest, it is confirmed to have at least 80 adult jaguars living within its borders. Local communities benefit from this sanctuary through tourist revenue and employment, and community residents take pride in protecting the jaguars and other animals that live within the sanctuary. However, poaching remains a serious threat to the endangered population of jaguars within the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Jaguar Species Survival Plan (SSP) found that in previous years, the presence of wardens at the southern gate of the sanctuary effectively reduced the threat of poaching and illicit activity. A plan to raise funds was developed by the Belize Audubon Society, which manages the sanctuary, in order to reestablish these important warden positions and update the wardens’ base of operations. The Zoological Society of New Jersey supports the Turtle Back Zoo in its participation in multiple Species Survival Plans, and the Society is proud to share the commitment of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Society and the Belize Audubon Society to their Jaguar SSP, in the hope that the jaguars and many other species living within the sanctuary will benefit from the increased protection against poaching. It is through membership purchases, donations, and other funds raised that the Zoological Society of New Jersey is able to contribute to the Jaguar SSP and other conservation projects which protect endangered species and their homes.
Interested in aiding our commitment to conservation?
 Belizeaudubon.org. 2022. cbws – Belize Audubon Society. [online] Available at: <https://belizeaudubon.org/cbws/> [Accessed 6 April 2022].
 Johnson, S., 2021. Call for Action to Protect Wild Jaguars. [online] Saczoo.org. Available at: <https://www.saczoo.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Call-for-Action-to-Protect-Wild-Jaguars-Jaguar-SAFE-JUN-2021-Update.pdf> [Accessed 6 April 2022].
Photo by Jake Danishevsky