Honduran Palm-Oil Company’s Support for the Environment is Boosting Endangered Species
Jaguars at Dinant’s Wildlife Conservation Center are monitored using motion-capture cameras.
Image by Franklin E. Castañeda, Panthera’s Director in Honduras.
TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS, 23 February 2021: Dinant is witnessing increasing numbers of jaguars roaming through its Wildlife Conservation Center (WLCC) on the Atlantic coast of Honduras.
Dinant’s conservation area consists of several hundred hectares of pine woods, broadleaf forest and wetlands near some of the company’s palm plantations. This area enables indigenous species such as jaguar and white-tailed deer to thrive. In Honduras, the highest number of jaguars related to the area’s size has been documented at Dinant’s wildlife reserve. Through strategically placed motion-capture cameras and the use of satellite collars, biologists have tracked several jaguars within an area of several hundred hectares.
Company spokesman, Roger Pineda, said, “For many years, Dinant has protected thousands of hectares of tropical rainforest, and managed breeding, rearing and release programs of endangered indigenous species on the Atlantic coast of Honduras. We are enormously proud of the role we play in preserving and enhancing jaguar numbers in the region.”
Managed by a team of specialists, and supported by Dinant’s technical and financial resources, the Atlantic coast wildlife reserve is monitored by The Panthera Corporation and Washington State University, which consider this reserve essential for conservation purposes in Honduras as it accounts for a remarkably high number of jaguars, with multiple reproductive individuals helping to preserve the species. Panthera and WSU believe the high number of jaguars seen on the Atlantic coast reserve is due to the great abundance of prey species such as white-tailed deer and excellent protection of the site.
Washington State University Researcher, Travis King, said, “Dinant and the reserve’s staff have obviously done a phenomenal job protecting the wildlife at their Atlantic coast reserve. I have never found a staff more dedicated to their jobs to protect this private reserve and willing to listen to recommendations to help improve their conservation practices at the reserve in order to create a balance between well-run agro-industry and protected forest. And the result, a forest rich with jaguars, very high in species diversity (many species rare to find elsewhere in Honduras), and well preserved forest. Ultimately, the reserve acts as a bastion of protection and hope along the North coast of Honduras for these species. If the adjacent wetlands and forest could also become a reserve, the entire region would be remarkable.”
Franklin Castañeda, Panthera’s director in Honduras, said, “After 25 years studying wildlife, I was able to see and photograph a jaguar in the wild for the first and only time at Dinant´s Wildlife Conservation Center. The abundance of jaguars and jaguar prey in this protected forest is impressive.”
Dinant’s Atlantic Coast wildlife conservation center is undertaking environmental education programs to create awareness among local communities. Additionally, Dinant leads workshops for small- and medium-sized livestock enterprises on improved technical management of cattle herds as part of its wide-ranging sustainability program. Protection and maintenance of the reserve is carried out by a team of national and international scientists. Dinant also supports Panthera’s cat-cattle conflict program by collaborating on workshops for ranchers in the neighboring regions.
Mr. Pineda added, “Due to Dinant’s organic practices, reduced use of artificial fertilizers, and prevention of soil erosion, our neighboring palm plantation on the Atlantic Coast is experiencing significantly greater natural vegetation groundcover to become an extension of the nature reserve and provide endangered species with nutrition, shelter, and more room to roam”.
About Corporación Dinant
Dinant is a family-owned consumer products manufacturer founded in Honduras in 1960. Its products are sold across Central America and the Dominican Republic. For 60 years, Dinant has been leading efforts in Honduras to implement and update protocols that keep its staff and customers safe. All Dinant operating facilities have been granted ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 status in recognition of their environmental and occupational health & safety management systems. Dinant’s palm oil extraction mills and plantations in the Lean and Aguán regions of Honduras have been awarded two prestigious International Sustainability and Carbon Certifications – ISCC EU and ISCC Plus – in recognition of the sustainability of raw materials and products, the traceability of the supply chain, and control of greenhouse gas emissions.