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Awareness needed to avoid jaguar extinction

A team of three researchers including Aida Bustamante and Panamanian biologist Ricardo Moreno are working to spread awareness in Costa Rica and Panama about the practice of killing jaguars, according to Discovery News.

The group is also hoping to change the views of many farmers who view these large cats as predators to their livestock. The group raises money to help support and compensate farmers in cases where pigs, cows and other animals have been eaten by jaguars.

The aim is to slow the decrease of jaguar numbers and prevent extinction.

"People love jaguars, and they may have jaguar posters in their rooms, but they're not really protecting jaguars. People believe the animals cannot disappear. And yes, they can," said Bustamante.

There are currently no official numbers or estimates of jaguars still alive, although the group has not seen a single jaguar in their eight years of study. The scientists use camera traps to try and spot the jaguars, which are the largest big cats in South America, according to National Geographic. The panthera oncas live on average 12 to 15 years.
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