This Darien Gap Jaguar Expedition will truly be a once in a lifetime experience. Working with Ricardo Moreno, our naturalist guide, our objective, over the course of the 10-day journey, will be to trap a jaguar, in the wild, to outfit it with an electronic collar.
Participants on this journey will not only have the opportunity to witness scientific research, at an exceptional level – aimed at the conservation of an iconic animal – they will also be directly involved in the research project whose overall process includes the identification of optimal sites to trap the feline, construction and installation of the traps, care and vitals of the animal during the collar fitting as well as testing of the collar and subsequent monitoring of the movement of the feline. Importantly, the revenues of our expedition will fund the purchase of the GPS collar and monitoring equipment as well as the associated research project costs.
In Panama, the Ministry of Environment lists jaguars as “Endangered” and in fact their status is considered “Critical” in many areas. The main problem is habitat loss and fragmentation, however, human related mortality is playing a significant role. Ricardo Moreno, of the Yagura Organization, has been carrying out a long-term jaguar population density survey in Panama’s Darien province using both camera trap and GPS collar technology. He has also recently conducted the first longitudinal study across Panama that identifies and quantifies the reasons why humans are killing jaguars. This project represents one element of Ricardo Moreno’s ongoing jaguar research/public education program in both Panama and Costa Rica today.
Over the course of the journey, you will explore the far eastern reaches of the Darien Gap, traveling to the Colombian border, and to the Pirre mountain range.
The Darien Province, remote and sparsely populated, spanning close to 5,000 square miles from Panama Province to the Colombian border, is considered Central America’s last great, untamed wilderness. The “Darien Gap” is the name that has been given to the road less swath of forest “where all roads end” between the Panamanian and Colombian segments of the Pan American Highway. National Geographic has referred to the Darien Gap as, “ One of the last—not only unexplored—but one of the last places people really hesitate to venture to… It’s also one of the most rugged places. The basic problem of the Darien Gap is that it’s one of the toughest hikes there is. It’s an absolute pristine jungle but it’s got some nasty sections …”
Nestled in foothills on the eastern slope of Pirre Ridge, the Cana Valley is the most isolated place in the Republic of Panama, a seemingly ‘Lost World’ of the 21stCentury.
You will undergo an apparent out-of-body experience as you are transported by helicopter from the bustling, 21st century Panama City urban environment to the untouched jungle wilderness of the Darien Gap whose isolation is accentuated by the total absence of any trace of human settlement in the broad vicinity.
Our tentative itinerary for the 10-day expedition is as follows:
- Arrival Panama Tocumen International Airport and transfer to Panama City luxury hotel (Sat).
- Helicopter flight from Panama City to our Darien Gap base camp (Sun).
- Trekking excursions from our Darien base camp to one or both of Pirre Mountain and Guayavio (Colombian border) to implement the jaguar trapping/electronic collar project (Mon through Fri).
- Return trek from Darien to Boca de Cupe village, followed by dugout canoe to Yaviza, followed by drive to Panama City (Sat/Sun/Mon) and transfer to luxury hotel.
- Dinner and evening in Casco Viejo historic district, Panama City, post return Monday.
- Departure from Panama Tocumen International Airport (Tuesday).
To join our upcoming JAGUAR Expedition please contact us using the form below.
Quick Trip Facts: Epic Darien Gap Jaguar Electronic Collar Expedition
Activities: Rain-Forest Trekking/Jaguar Electronic Collar Research
Scope: Wildlife Conservation
Destination: Darien Gap, Panama
Trip Duration: 11 days (Panama City arrival/departure)
Group Size: 4-6 people
Transportation: Helicopter/River Canoe/Private Ground Transportation
Cost/person: $ 8,000 (based on a group of 5 participants)
Costs Included: All airport/hotel transfers.
Hotels in Panama City (2 nights),
All domestic transportation.
Dinner (1) and breakfast (2) in Panama City plus all meals once trip starts.
All regional fees and permits. Expedition and Naturalist guides.
Research donation on behalf of the expedition (purchase of GPS collar)
Costs not Included: International Flights.
Personal gear and excess baggage charges.
Required Insurance Coverage (medical and rescue/repatriation).
Personal sundries and beverages.
Optional tip pool (guides).
Costs incurred as a result of delays and events beyond the control of Legends of the Wild.
Insurance: Requirement to purchase adequate Medical and Evacuation coverage to include helicopter evacuation
Equipment: We will supply a specific and detailed clothing and equipment list several months before departure