Many of you have heard about how to plant a butterfly garden or a pollinator garden. Choosing the right plants can attract and provide nourishment to a host of different insects and animals for their benefit and the great delight of those fortunate observers who can marvel at their beauty up close. Such specialized gardens can actually result in a greater abundance of pollinators than what would occur naturally in a wild area without such specialized plantings.
For other animals however, conserving vast tracks of wilderness is the only way to sustain them and ensure their continued presence into the future. In the Americas, jaguars are the animals that epitomize this need for vast preserves of wild lands. No human-altered park, garden, or public green space can provide an alternative for their needs. Our choice is to either secure conservation land now to provide for their future or doom them to local extinction and life in zoos.
The Vallarta Botanical Garden is actively expanding its forest preserve by purchasing nearby properties before their natural vegetation is removed for development. Recent purchases, made possible by the generosity of our supporters and fellow conservationists, have grown our forest preserve to about 30 hectares and we are continuing to fundraise and continue this important initiative. We’re also monitoring wildlife in our forest preserve through camera trapping in collaboration with Panthera México.
Each Tuesday of November (the 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th) we are offering a special jaguar habitat and habits tour in our forest preserve in conjunction with Panthera’s Mes del Jaguar (Jaguar Month). These tours are the only officially Mes del Jaguar activities offered in the Puerto Vallarta region as part of this exciting international celebration to inspire much-needed conservation actions to protect this great cat. For more information about the Mes del Jaguar and sign up for the special jaguar tour of the Vallarta Botanical Garden’s forest preserve, visit: www.mesdeljaguar.com.
While plants are at the core of the Vallarta Botanical Garden’s focus, we are nature lovers in the broadest sense of the term. Emblematic animals such as jaguars engage the imagination like few others and inspire the conservationist in each of us. Long live the jaguar, and long live the wild forests of the Puerto Vallarta region in all their abundance and glory.