Human Wildlife Conflict Program
Human-wildlife conflict is one of the most critical threats facing many wildlife species today (Dickman, 2010). Hence, with the increase of population and pressure on forest areas, human-wildlife interaction and resultant conflict is also increased (Zubiri &Switzer, 2001). The Forest Department under the Wildlife Program works with different species that are threatened daily when a wild animal becomes a threat to human live or affecting livelihoods. The wildlife program tends to educate and recommend the public on best practices to reduce or prevent human-wildlife conflict.
One of our main success forward have been the jaguar wildlife conflict program which works closely with Panthera to identify ecologically sustainable methods to reduce predator attacks on livestock in Belize. Through this partnership, a dedicated Jaguar Officer is available to respond to reports of livestock predation nationally. The Officer follows a set protocol to prioritize reports, conduct site investigations if required, and provide advice to livestock owners about how they can improve their livestock security and reduce the risk of further attacks. Data collected during these site investigations are important for helping us to understand the patterns and causes of attacks, and allow us to give site-specific advice about how to prevent them from reoccurring. We encourage rapid reporting of attacks on livestock to facilitate this process.