Hunting Report subscriber David Hanlin also tells us that the jaguar darting program in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has expanded to Guatemala. We've reported on the past about this program, which employs paying hunters to dart jaguars so scientists can take samples and collar the animals before releasing them back into the wild unharmed. Hanlin, who has served as the program's coordinator, says they have learned innumerable things about the species since they started the program in May 1999. "This was the last predatory species in North America that we knew nothing about," he says. Thanks to the data scientists have been able to collect through the program, Hanlin says they now know how male and female jaguars differ in territorial boundaries, how they propagate, what they eat and that they co-exist with other felines, such as pumas.
Hanlin says Dr. Bill Wall, formerly the senior scientist at Safari Club International, has joined the jaguar program and will be working on the program in the Guatemala corridor. Hanlin was not ready to give out details about where and exactly when they would be taking hunters here to dart cats - they just started working the area only two weeks ago - but he hopes to have things in place for the upcoming season. He also says that they anticipate expanding soon into Belize and other places in Central America. Hunters interested in participating in the darting program can contact Hanlin.