Mariam Weston

Mariam Weston

A Guardian of Mexico’s Wildcats and Champion of Community Conservation

The Heart of Conservation on a Modest Budget

The Heart of Conservation

In the lush landscapes of Mexico, where the whispers of the wild carry stories of majesty and survival, stands a hero whose dedication to conservation is as profound as the roots of the ancient trees. Mariam Weston, leading the Ocelot Working Group under the mentorship of Dr. Jim Sanderson, embodies the spirit of hope for the region’s most elusive inhabitants: the Jaguar, Ocelot, Puma, Bobcat, Margay, and Jaguarundi. Operating on a modest budget, fueled by the generosity of donors, Mariam’s work with the Ocelot Working Group underlines a profound commitment to creating a harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.

A Multifaceted Approach to Wildlife Conservation

Understanding that conservation extends beyond the forests, Mariam has initiated an innovative program to vaccinate and neuter feral dogs and cats. This critical effort curbs the spread of diseases to wildcats in forests adjacent to human settlements, showcasing Mariam’s holistic view of ecosystem health. The Ignacio Project is one of Mariam’s notable projects and was named after the first margay recorded in the area. This project focuses on monitoring and protecting margays and other wildcats in Morelos, where the presence of free-ranging dogs poses a significant threat.

Addressing the Dog Problem

Mariam and her team offer free neutering and vaccination campaigns to reduce the impact of free-ranging dogs on the wildcat populations. They have neutered more than 300 dogs and vaccinated over 600, and they plan to continue these efforts with your help.

Water for Life: Collaborating with Beekeepers

In regions where drought poses a relentless challenge, Mariam’s ingenuity shines brightly. Collaborating with beekeepers, she has established water cisterns and troughs, ensuring that both wildlife and bees have access to vital water sources. This initiative not only protects the hives’ honey from ants—a common issue when wildlife competes for water—but also secures a lifeline for the area’s biodiversity. Mariam’s work has transformed a point of conflict into a symbol of coexistence, with the potential for water for everyone.

Empowering Communities Through Sustainable Practices

Mariam’s partnership with beekeepers extends into the realm of sustainable commerce. By helping market their honey in its raw form as well as in derivative products like soaps and shampoos, she’s fostering economic opportunities that also benefit conservation efforts. This sustainable approach underscores the potential for conservation to support and be supported by local economies.

Educating and Inspiring the Next Generation

Mariam’s outreach efforts are characterized by creativity and inclusivity. By utilizing comic books and murals, she brings the message of wildlife pride to the broader community, including those who may not be able to read. Her work in schools engenders a deep-seated pride for Mexico’s native cats, inspiring a new generation to value and protect their natural heritage.

Fostering Leadership in Conservation

Perhaps one of Mariam’s most impactful contributions is her commitment to empowering young women to pursue careers in conservation. By fostering leadership and providing opportunities for these aspiring conservationists, Mariam is ensuring that the future of wildlife protection is bright and inclusive.

A Hero Among Us

Mariam Weston’s comprehensive approach to conservation exemplifies what it means to be a true guardian of the wild. Her efforts remind us of the interconnectedness of all living beings and the importance of every action taken to protect our planet’s fragile ecosystems. As we celebrate her achievements, we’re inspired to join the cause and support the vision of a world where humans and wildlife thrive together.

May 11 2024 Look Who Is Using the Water Drinkers!

Mariam reports, “Hola everyone! I am excited to share some great news with you right from the field! We have just witnessed the first jaguarundi using our new drinkers, which is a significant accomplishment for us. Moreover, we have installed a rainwater collector in one of the priority sites based on previous feline records obtained from our drinkers. I hope you can feel the happiness my team and I are feeling at the moment! Thank you so much for your support.  Best regards, Mariam”

Join the Cause

Inspired by Mariam’s journey? Join us in supporting her and others like her. Together, we can create a lasting legacy of conservation for generations to come.





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