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Traditional uses of wild felids in the Caribbean region of Colombia: new threats for conservation?

Author(s): José F González-Maya | Diego Zárrate-Charry | Ángela Hernández-Arévalo | Amancay A Cepeda | Sergio A. Balaguera-Reina | Carlos Castaño-Uribe | Cristal Ange

Journal: Latin American Journal of Conservation
ISSN 2027-3851

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 64;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Conservation | Felidae | Jaguar | Margay | Ocelot | Oncilla | Puma | Use.

The Caribbean region of Colombia contains critical habitat for wild felids that historically has been and currently is under heavy pressures that threaten the long-term persistence of these species. We conducted semi-structured interviews, workshops and directed visits in five departments of this region from January 2009 to January 2010 to record the direct use of felids for traditional purposes. The most common use in the region is for medicinal purposes (40,90 %), where fat is most often used part as topical ointment (27,27 %). La Guajira is the department with highest levels of species use in terms of diversity of uses (7) and frequency (59,09 %). The magnitude of traditional use of felids should be quantified nationally to assess its potential effect on populations. Additionally, traditional uses should be considered in regional and national conservation planning efforts while maintaining traditional and cultural values as a conservation tool in these areas.
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