Latin America launches roadmap to save declining jaguar populations

As jaguar populations decline due to illegal poaching, loss of habitat and human conflict, leading conservation organizations are joining forces with key jaguar range states to launch a roadmap to protect the troubled species.

The jaguar is the largest apex carnivore in Latin America, ranging across 18 countries. However, 50 per cent of the species’ original range has been lost and jaguar populations are declining due to illegal poaching, human-jaguar conflict and loss and fragmentation of habitat.

Now, leading international conservation organizations and key jaguar range states have joined together to launch the Jaguar 2030 Conservation Roadmap for the Americas, announced WWF in a statement.

The roadmap aims to strengthen the Jaguar Corridor, ranging from Mexico to Argentina, by securing 30 priority jaguar conservation landscapes by the year 2030. Goals include strengthening international awareness for jaguar protection initiatives and stimulating sustainable development opportunities, such as eco-tourism.

“By bringing together range country governments, the private sector, civil society and international partners, the Roadmap will help protect key jaguar corridors in ways that strengthen sustainable livelihoods for local communities and open up new business opportunities for ecotourism and sustainable agriculture,” commented Midori Paxton, Head of Biodiversity and Ecosystems at the United Nations Development Programme, in the statement.

Jaguar conservation transcends safeguarding a single species, according to WWF. Successful jaguar conservation also maintains forests, carbon, biodiversity, watersheds, and national and cultural heritage.

The release of the roadmap follows the United Nations high-level forum held in March that resulted in the launch of the Jaguar 2030 New York Statement by 14 jaguar range countries and international conservation partners.

Given the decline in jaguar populations, including the species’ extinction in El Salvador and Uruguay, governments of jaguar range states have doubled down to save the species, including Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico and Belize.

Photo credit: Yannick Turbe/ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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