Jaguar Ecological Reserve
Jaguar Ecological Reserve



About the Jaguar Ecological Reserve Lodge

The Jaguar Ecological Reserve is currently a 1200-hectare federally registered reserve (R.P.P.N. - Reserva Particular de Patrimonio Natural). The Reserve was created in 1999 with the help of the non-profit Focus Conservation Fund. The Jaguar Reserve is owned by a local Pantaneiro family who has pledged to preserve it. Profits from the Reserve’s lodge are re-invested to purchase more land for the Reserve. It is our hope that the Reserve will expand significantly in the next few years. We also hope to fund a local school for Pantaneiro children.

History

CowboysFor three centuries, cattle ranching has been the dominant economic activity in the Pantanal. For a number of reasons, ranching has become less profitable in the Pantanal since the 1970s. As a result, unfortunately many traditional Pantaneiro families have had to leave their ranches and move away to the towns outside the Pantanal.

We started our lodge to develop an economic alternative to ranching. We are proving that ecotourism can be a sustainable source of income for ranchers. Locally-owned tourism ventures like the Jaguar Ecological Reserve provide much-needed employment for Pantaneiros. We want to preserve not only the jaguars and other wildlife of the Pantanal, but also our unique culture.

With the help of our friends and supporters, over the past decade we have improved and expanded our lodge. We also formally converted much of our ranch into the Reserve to ensure that it would be protected forever. While we host more and more guests each year, we strive to maintain the intimate, family atmosphere at the lodge. Typically there is no more than one group visiting the lodge at a time. By the time our guests depart, they feel as if they are part of our family!

Guides

Jaguar Reserve GuidesWe are proud to only employ experienced, English-speaking guides from the Pantanal. This guarantees our guests an unparalleled experience during which they will learn as much as they desire about the unique culture and biodiversity of the Pantanal. Our guides offer a full range of services, from nature hikes through the forest, nighttime wildlife-viewing drives, fishing trips and birdwatching tours. Guides carry spotting scopes, field guides and tape recording and playback equipment to assist in locating and identifying wildlife. Our two main guides are Eduardo Falcão and Fabricio Dorelio.

Eduardo Falcão was born and raised in the Pantanal. The son of a jaguar hunter and rancher, Eduardo grew up with a keen awareness of the Pantanal’s culture, history and wildlife, which he is happy to share with his guests. Eduardo speaks English very well. In 2003, Eduardo traveled across the United States to raise awareness of threats facing the Pantanal’s culture and biodiversity.

Eduardo is an expert birder, intimately familiar with hundreds of species in the Pantanal. Eduardo is also available to guide trips in the Amazon and Atlantic Forest of Brazil, where he travels several times a year. His wife Juscineide and children Eduarda and Joao Paulo live in Cuiabá during the school year but stay at the Reserve the rest of the year.

Fabricio Dorelio is also a Pantaneiro. Fabricio has a thorough understanding of the Pantanal’s birds, mammals, reptiles and fish species. He speaks conversational English. In 2005 Fabricio traveled to the United States to study ecology and English in New England. Our guests are continually impressed by Fabricio’s enthusiasm. Like many Pantaneiros, Fabricio is an excellent fishermen. Our guests often dine on piranha, pacu and other fishes that Fabricio catches near the Reserve.

Both Eduardo and Fabricio received training in English and guiding from the Focus Conservation Fund.

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*All photos copyright Mark Van Coller or Jaguar Ecological Reserve. We are grateful to our guests for their contributions.