Think like a Jaguar, do purposeful reporting to protect Guyana’s wildlife

─ Wildlife Conservation wants alliance with media

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Members of the local media were taken through an interactive sensitisation exercise earlier today, aimed at a more purposeful approach when reporting on wildlife conservation. The objective of the session was to encourage education of protection laws, general knowledge of wildlife protection and sensitive reporting.

The exercise was held by the Guyana Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission (GWCMC).

“The reason why we held this session today is that we view the media as a significant partner when it comes to informing the public about the importance of our wildlife, especially our endangered species and the ones that are listed as protected under our regulations,” stated GWCMC, Communications Officer, Deuel Hughes.

The exercise was conducted by Dr. Anthony Cummings, a Guyanese professor based in the United States of America. Dr. Cummings, who is studying Guyana’s rainforest eco-system, is also known for using his drones to track and analyse how farming impacts the Amazon over time. He conducted such an exercise in an Indigenous community in Guyana in 2017.

Today’s exercise focused mainly on Guyana’s wildcat species, which is six in total; Jaguarondi also known as the Otter cat, Margay also known as the Tree Ocelot, Oncilla or the Little Spotted Cat, Jaguar also known as the Tiger, Puma known as the Cougar, and the Ocelot also known as the Painted Leopard. Dr. Cummings said the exercise was aimed at the protection of all wildlife, specifically those which were threatened.

In the meantime, GWCMC Legal Counsel, Samuel Glasgow reiterated that there were heavy penalties for the hunting of endangered species. “The Guyana Wildlife Commission is a small but mighty force that is moving to sensitise the public in terms of the role these species play and to let them know that they are penalties in place… We have a monitoring department that is currently on the move.” He said people should remember that animals play an essential role in the eco-system.

Just last year, the Cabinet approved three sets of wildlife conservation regulations in accordance with Section 83 (1) (A) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2016.

The new regulations, which replaced the Wildlife Management and Conservation Regulations of 2013, governs all aspects of “hunting, trapping, trade, protection, conservation, management and sustainable use of wildlife in Guyana.

Images by: Jules Gibson, Guyana Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission