UB ERI Staff Participate In The XVI Congress Of The Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservatio
“The MSBC Congress is held every year and attracts between 500 and 1000 Mesoamericans and people from other continents, who meet in symposia, courses and workshops to discuss their research, exchange experience and strengthen partnerships between institutions and researchers in various fields related to the study of climate change and natural resources of this region of the world.”
The MSBC is composed of 9 Chapters throughout the countries of Mesoamerica. Each year, a different Chapter is selected to organize and host the week-long congress in their home country. This years’ congress ran from the 17th through to the 21st of September and was hosted by the MSBC’s Panama Chapter led by Chapter President, Karla Aparicio Ubillus. The congress is made up of many mini-symposia which are held simultaneously throughout the week. The main theme of this year’s congress was “Valoracion De Los Recursos Hidricos: Un Paso Hacia La Sostenibilidad En Mesoamerica” which in English translates as Valuation of water resources: A step towards sustainability in Mesoamerica.
Dr. Bart Harmsen,the ERI’s Panthera Research Fellow and Dr. Rebecca Foster, Director of Panthera’s Belize Jaguar Program , presented some of their research on jaguars in Belize done through the ERI-Panthera collaboration. Dr. Bart’s presentation entitled, “Long Term Monitoring of Jaguar in the Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize” discussed the long-term spatial dynamics of male jaguars in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, showing that there are high levels of overlap between individual jaguar ranges this area. Dr. Rebecca’s presentation, “People, Predators and Prey: game meat consumption in Belize” put into perspective the areas of concern in regards to the competition between humans and jaguars for different game meat species, and how this could lead to further problems in large cat conservation.
Other ERI staff members and active members of the MSBC’s Belize Chapter who attended and participated in this year’s congress include, Dr. Elma Kay, Emma Sanchez and Denver Cayetano.