Sunday, March 11, 2007

UK: Live satellite link-up to highlight jaguar's plight

VISITORS to the Royal Botanic Garden are to see a live satellite link-up to conservation work in Central America.

The Garden is working on saving the jaguar, one of the world's most endangered species, in Belize.

Big cat expert Dr Marcella Kelly will talk to visitors by satellite from the nation, one of the last refuges of the rare breed of big cat.

The Botanics has had a team based there since 1998 which uses cameras to record the jaguars on the move and monitor their activities. The April 13 link-up is part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Dr Chris Minty, project manager of the Botanics' Belize research station, said: "Jaguars are predominately solitary cats that stalk and ambush their prey in dense jungle.

"They are an essential predator who play an important role in stabilising the forest ecosystem.

"The work that Marcella is conducting in collaboration with the Botanics is absolutely vital to the long-term conservation of this amazing forest and it's a great privilege to have the opportunity to link-up with the Edinburgh Science Festival."

Simon Gage, director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, added: "With unique events like Belize Live! families get the chance to see real field scientists in action and to witness the difference their work is making."

Last updated: 08-Mar-07 12:12 GMT edinburgh.cfm?id=370682007

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