Ricardo  Moreno

Ricardo Moreno

Biólogo de Vida Silvestre, Investigador de Yaguará Panamá

Specialist in
Biología educación exploración tecnología

About me

Since 1998 Ricardo Moreno has been working with wild cats - mainly jaguars, pumas and ocelots - and other mammals in Panama. He pioneered the use of camera traps (CT) in Panama as a means of monitoring the population of jaguars and other species. He is an associate researcher at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the results of his studies have been presented at international events, the media and published in the most important scientific journals. He has been working on generating ecological information that is applied in the education and conservation of important wildlife species in Panama and also on the conflict between big cats and humans. He obtained his bachelor's degree from the University of Panama in 2002 and has a master's degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management from the International Institute for Wildlife Conservation and Management of the National University in Heredia, Costa Rica in 2006. In the year From 2004 to 2006 his master's studies were focused on knowing about the status of the jaguar population, other felines and their prey in the Darien National Park. Also, between the years 2000 to 2004 he conducted a study on the ecology of the ocelot on Barro Colorado Island using the combined method of radio telemetry, CT, tracks, tracks and excreta collection to know about diet, ecology and natural history. of the species. Co-Founder of the Yaguará Feline Conservation Program in Costa Rica in 2006. During his stay in Costa Rica (8 years) he carried out one of the most extensive studies of TC and direct work with the communities “Doing science with people” trying to minimize the conflict between big cats and humans in the Osa Peninsula. But between 2012 and 2014 he conducted the most intensive CT study in America in the Donoso forest in Panama.

In addition, since 1998 he begins to investigate the conflict between big cats and humans, trying to find alternatives to them to date. From 2014 to 2015 he was the main consultant of the Project “Strengthening the capacities of the Ministry of the Environment in support of the jaguar conservation plan in the Mesoamerican Corridor of the Panamanian Atlantic” financed by the Ministry of the Environment-CBMAP II. From 2014 to date, Moreno leads the project on the status of the jaguar in the Serranía de Pirre, within the Darién National Park. In addition, in 2016 the project "Evaluating the connectivity of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor through the use of key mammals in Panama" with funds from SENACYT began, with which the placement of GPS collars to monitor large mammals (jaguar, puma, tapir and mountain pigs) on land and by satellite in Darien to improve decisions to reestablish the Panamanian biological corridor that is already fractured.With funds from private donations and from projects in the Darién area, on the banks of the Chucunaque River, and in other provinces, for more than four years we have been working with the Yaguará Panama Foundation in strengthening capacities for cattle ranchers in the area, teaching them alternatives to improve important aspects of the property in terms of predation prevention, maintaining some pilot farms. The actions have included the use of CT, fingerprint sampling and economic alternatives that seek to demonstrate that it is possible to live with this feline. A jaguar, a puma, three mountain pigs and several ocelots have been captured for the placement of a GPS collar that allows to know the route of the animals and which are the farms they visit, and the areas of greatest use by the species. Since 2000 he has participated in national and international conferences, in the media and the press promoting the coexistence between humans and big cats. Recently Awarded by the National Geographic Society in 2017 as Emerging Explorer and winner of the Ford Prize for conservation in Panama in 2015 and was nominated as a Hero for Panama in November 2017. In 2018 he is designated as Ambassador of one of the Goals of Sustainable Development by the United Nations offices in Panama. At this time, we are working together with the Ministry of the Environment in more than 5 different provinces in search of real solutions such as carrying out pilot projects in 15 farms using anti-predation measures, a lot of environmental education involving MEDUCA, MIDA, ISA, ANAGAN, BDA and to banks that give loans to farmers and ranchers, among other activities, that involve continuing to carry out basic science that is the basis of our work. We work supporting and advising 7 community-based organizations throughout the country under the Special Fund for the conservation of big cats at the community level of the International PPD UN office in NY / Panama, UNDP / GEF and the beneficiaries with financing have begun their projects with conservation activities on wild cats in sensitive areas of the country (Bocas del Toro, Chiriquí, Veraguas, Chagres, Guna Yala and Darién). And it is that at the end of the road we know that the only ones who have the conservation of these species in their hands are the people who coexist with them and we must give them the tools to help us in this work.