Welcome to the Jaguarthon!

The 2024 edition of the Jaguarthon will be completed in five locations: Mabaruma, Skeldon/Crabwood Creek, Mainstay/Whyaka, Bina Hill/Annai and Georgetown. Dates and times to be announced by September 2024

Why the Jaguarthon?

Every 9-13 days, a jaguar is killed in Guyana as it comes into contact with cattle farmers, gold miners, or someone engaged in similar economic activity. Humans kill wild cats for many reasons. Retaliation for a wild cat killing a domestic animal is the most prominent reason humans kill wild cats. Humans often kill cats because they lack the tools necessary to act otherwise. Invariably, people bring longstanding fears, sometimes passed down from one generation to another or acquired from stories of conflict in other areas of the world, country, or within a locale, into their interactions with a wild cat. Consequently, when a wild cat kills or injures a cow or dog, people react by finding ways to kill or remove the offending cat from their area. In these situations, people hardly take a step back to think through alternatives to killing wild cats or to study the circumstances that may have led to conflict in the first place.

Across Guyana, people's perceptions of wild cats and their importance vary. In some areas, folks view wild cats as an integral part of their environment, while others view wild cats as a threat to their lives and livelihoods. The Jaguarthon series of runs aims to change how people perceive wild cats and wildlife on the whole while simultaneously acknowledging that the well-being of wildlife is intricately linked to that of humans. The series of Jaguarthon runs and post-run conversations and interactions will emphasize the importance of wild cats, including jaguars, pumas, and other wildlife, to human well-being. Each run will engage local people in Guyana, including high schoolers, local conservation leaders, and people interested in protecting human well-being. Beyond human-wildlife interactions, the runs will also engage entities and agencies in Guyana involved in tackling challenges related to human health, including domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, and safeguarding the welfare of women and children. The Jaguarthon runs make the point that wildlife health and well-being are dependent on that of humans across Guyana.

The Jaguarthon's Format and Theme

The Jaguarthon, an official Guyana Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission (GWCMC) activity, aims to change how people think about human-wildlife interactions and transform the public's understanding of wildlife's role in Guyanese life. In each run, participants will be accompanied by GWCMC personnel and Dr. Anthony Cummings, a Guyanese human-wildlife interactions researcher, who will engage participants on the importance of wild cats and wildlife while they run. The distance and time for each run will vary from five (5) to approximately thirteen (13) miles, and participants can sign up to run (or walk) any distance including one mile, or more along the run's course at each Run Location. The longest distance chosen (13 miles) represents the end of the range of frequency (measured in days) it is estimated that a jaguar is killed in Guyana. At the end of each run Cummings and others will engage the audience in activities aimed at enhancing our collective understanding of the importance of Guyana's wildlife. The theme for the 2024 runs is "Think Like a Jaguar." Come run with us!

If you are in Guyana but not in one of the Run Locations or outside of Guyana and want to participate, we want to hear from you. You can run the Jaguarthon where you. Please send us your thoughts through the Comments section below. Have fun and be healthy.