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Jaguar: One Man's Struggle to Establish the World's First Jaguar Preserve
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Jaguar: One Man's Struggle to Establish the World's First Jaguar Preserve

4.32  ·  Rating Details ·  252 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
In 1983, zoologist Alan Rabinowitz ventured into the rain forest of Belize, determined to study the little-known jaguar in its natural habitat and to establish the world's first jaguar preserve. Within two years, he had succeeded. In Jaguar he provides the only first-hand account of a scientist's experience with jaguars in the wild. Jaguar presents an irresistible blend of ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 2nd 2000 by Island Press (first published 1986)
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Mar 02, 2009 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Wow. Best nonfiction conservation book I've read in years. Excellent book that at first glance is a history of jaguar conservation in the jungles of Belize, which has only begun in the 1980s. Interesting to think that these animals have been hunted for hundreds of years, and it's been less than 30 that any research has been done on them at ALL, and that there were NO preserves for these cats until then. After reading this book, you also realize that this is a story about human fears, struggles, ...more
Ridiculous. Kindle price is currently $28 as of July 3rd, 2016.

Pity, looks like a good one.
Sally Bishop
Feb 18, 2014 Sally Bishop rated it it was amazing
I usually get a bit bored by non-fiction half way through, but this book reads like a suspense-filled detective novel! It's a great story, full of various subtle points and questions related to the human relationship with the rest of Nature, especially the large mammals whose very existence as a species is threatened by our destruction of their habitat.

This man's courage and insight are very engaging, as are the on-going dialogues with Mayan families who lived in the Jaguar Habitat, and helped w
4.5 stars

In the early/mid 1980s, Alan Rabinowitz went to Belize to study jaguars in the wild. He was the first to do so. He found not only was he studying the animals, he was making friends with and learning about the local Maya Indians, and having to plead a case to the Belizean government to protect the area. He spent two years there.

I really liked this. I love animals, so learning about the jaguars was always interesting. It's extra interesting to be able to see the patterns of individual an
Feb 13, 2010 summer61 rated it really liked it
An account of the author's two years in Belize studying jaguars. I was surprised by the passion, emotion and honesty in this book. Although his ego sometimes threatened to overwhelm the story, mostly I welcomed his approach. It gave a fuller picture of his environment than if it had focused narrowly on the jaguars, and so illuminated a complex ecology that includes gringo scientists, Maya Indians, trophy hunters, government officials - not to mention tommy-goffs, botfly larvae, armadillos, pecca ...more
Sep 05, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it
I read this after spending a day in the jaguar preserve the author established in Belize. It is so impressive that he succeeded in his project in spite of the odds against it. His tales of trying to track jaguars and of living with the Mayan people were interesting and moving. Rabinowitz managed to combine a report of the scientific work he was doing along with personal stories of life in an isolated (at the time) part of Belize.
Jun 15, 2010 Gwen rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books. It was a perfect read for my time in Belize. It was as much about the Mayan people as it was about the jaguars that Rabinowitz is trying to study. A great telling of how science research is a struggle - and is sometimes dangerous.
Michael Thoeresz
Mar 01, 2008 Michael Thoeresz rated it it was ok
This is not an exceptional book but if you live in Belize or have traveled through Cockscomb (the worlds only Jaguar preserve) it's very interesting.

"The best part of him dripped down his mama's leg."
Tim Ganotis
Jan 23, 2014 Tim Ganotis rated it it was amazing
Simply written yet powerful story. Lots of passion and emotion from the author make this one of the better books I've read in some time.
Jun 23, 2009 Jess rated it liked it
I had to read it for a Jaguar exhibit, but the more I read books written by field biologists, the more impressed I am with how well they write. George Schaller is still my favorite though.
Luke Bailey
Dec 16, 2009 Luke Bailey rated it liked it
I learned that DIY conservation of large carnivores in tropical forests is waaay cooler than my office job. Also, Belize is prolly my favorite country in the western hemisphere.
Jun 23, 2014 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been sitting with me for a couple of days now. I found it interesting for a few different reasons: it’s about jaguars, the Maya, and conservation but not necessarily in that order. My biases come from my perspective as an archaeologist, who is fascinated by the ancient Maya. But what the ancient Maya taught me was to look deeper into jaguars. Hence, that brought me to this book.

I’d recommend this book to people who are interested in all three of the above and archaeologists. Rabino
Jul 22, 2016 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
This is an amazing book! I love big cats, and I wanted to learn about the jaguar, so I decided to read this book. It is about jaguars, but its so much more than that. Its a narrative of the author's experience of living in the jungle of Belize. From this book I really learned a lot about life in the jungle. I learned about the Mayans who live there now, and a little about the ancient Mayans. Following the author on his journey, I learned about the superstitions of the Mayans and how some of thei ...more
Jun 07, 2015 Brendan rated it really liked it
Excellent adventure, backed by an extremely meaningful purpose. Rabinowitz's struggle to live in remote Belize to study Jaguars was fascinating in itself and resulted in a precedent for wildlife corridors across the world. He writes straight, but there's everything from fantastic supernatural Mayan encounters to deceitful governmental politics to romance. An inspiration to any budding conervationist and a true, modern adventure.
Sep 06, 2016 CloudScape rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: natural-history
Rabinowitz is such a great writer. He is very inspiring and I loved hearing about his own stories out in the jungle. While reading, I experienced sadness, admiration, and happiness with him as well as with the jaguars. This book is a lovely read in which you really get the feel of what is out there in the Belize jungle. I am sad as well as content to have finished this emotional true story.
Sep 30, 2015 Karen rated it liked it
For a girl who grew up loving Jane Goodall, Rudyard Kipling and Dr. Doolittle, this little autobiography was not only a joy to read, but a story of hope which is unfortunately not that common in conservation narratives.
Clara Lee
Apr 15, 2010 Clara Lee rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Of course, I was very very interested in the topic and the area the book was written about, so my enjoyment was at least partially from such a strong desire to learn more about Belize culture. But I think it was written well and could be enjoyed by most.
Hasan Rahman
Aug 16, 2016 Hasan Rahman rated it it was amazing
The author gave me the book with his sign, I haven't felt that moved by reading any book lately! I wept when I finished it on the way to my office early in the morning today! This book made me revamped my goal, that I will fight till my last breathe for the cats and other wildlife!
Jenny Jackson
Feb 02, 2013 Jenny Jackson rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book-provides deep insight on what it means to give up everything in pursuit of protecting something a person truly cares about.
Paul Schuette
Sep 10, 2008 Paul Schuette rated it really liked it
Great writer. Good combination of exposing people to the 'excitement' of wildlife research, while also stating the hard work and problems associated.
Oct 06, 2008 Linda rated it it was amazing
The story of researching the jaguars and creating the preserve at Cockscomb in Belize as well as a great description of the modern-day Maya in the Stann Creek region.
May 19, 2012 Matt rated it liked it
A very good read; one scientist's journey to understand a country and a people in order to preserve one of its most significant species.
Amy Ostermeier
Mar 15, 2008 Amy Ostermeier rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone.
Recommended to Amy by: My dad. :)
I'm loving this book. You'll learn lots of interesting things about the rainforest, big cats, and maya culture. a great read.
Jennifer Alm
Feb 15, 2014 Jennifer Alm rated it it was amazing
Read while staying near Cockscomb Basin in Belize where Rabinowitz established this jaguar preserve. Learned a lot about the mysticism and life of Mayans in this region.
Jul 17, 2008 Jonathan rated it liked it
Excellent story of real biological research. Inspired my wife and I to travel to Cockscomb during our honeymoon.
PJ rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2013
Chris rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2010
Sarah McMullin
Sarah McMullin rated it it was amazing
Aug 20, 2011
Georgianna Honeycutt
Georgianna Honeycutt rated it it was amazing
Dec 25, 2016
Bree Boothe
Bree Boothe rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2015
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Alan Robert Rabinowitz is an American zoologist, conservationist, field biologist and the CEO of Panthera, a nonprofit conservation organization devoted to protecting the world's 37 wild cat species. Called the "Indiana Jones of Wildlife Protection" by Time, Rabinowitz has studied jaguars, clouded leopards, Asiatic leopards, tigers, Sumatran rhinos, bears, leopard cats, raccoons, and civets. Today ...more
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