Belen Castuera: Stephanny. When people ask what you do for a living, what do you say? Because when I’m asked, I say I’m a banker. The conversation is over. End of story. But in your case you work with jaguars, with a tracker dog… I find it so interesting.
Stephanny Arroyo Arce: Yes, sometimes it’s a bit complicated. I tell them I’m a biologist. And then ‘what do you do’? And I say ‘well, I go on field trips throughout Costa Rica looking for feline feces.’ And they ask ‘what do you mean?’ So I explain that it’s a genetic tracking project, that I work with a Labrador retriever. And people become very interested in the work.
Belen: When did you realize that things like jaguars, Reventazon, and Costa Rica’s hydropower generation were connected?
Stephanny: Reventazon is the largest hydropower project in Central America – so it is going to have a potential impact on biodiversity. It is in an area that is very important for the conservation of jaguars. Panthera started monitoring activities to understand what the area was like before construction started so that the impact of the project on biodiversity could be understood and so that mitigation measures could be put in place to avoid cutting off this route for the jaguars.