- WWF launches the international #JaguarKing campaign to create awareness on jaguar protection and to spur government to develop Jaguar Corridors in Latin America
- Jaguar Roadmap 2030 from the United Nations and conservation organizations like WWF, is vital for the future of the jaguar
WWF launches the international #JaguarKing campaign today to urge 14 governments in Latin America to fulfill their commitment to the Jaguar Roadmap 2030. The roadmap was launched in 2018 to strengthen protection of Americas largest and most majestic feline, its habitat and benefits for communities settled near the landscapes where this species lives. However, after three years in force minimal progress has been made.
With this campaign, WWF underscores the importance of the jaguar and will ask governments, among which Suriname, to advance in the implementation of the Jaguar Roadmap 2030 and launch conservation efforts through four pathways: regional cooperation; development and implementation of national strategies; jaguar-friendly productive practices, and sustainable financing. Likewise, Guyana, together with French Guiana, Nicaragua and Venezuela are asked to join the initiative.
It is estimated that nearly 80% of the entire jaguar population (57,000 out of 64,000) live in the Amazon and the Guianas. The subpopulations found outside of the Amazon are threatened because of the small size of their habitat, isolation, lack of protection and high density of human populations. The Jaguar is already extinct in El Salvador and Uruguay, and virtually gone in the United States.
In the Jaguar Roadmap 2030 Southern Guianas, covering Suriname and Guyana, is mentioned as a one of the key biodiversity and jaguar areas in Latin America. It connects with the Amazon in Brazil, which is connected with Jaguar Corridors to give jaguar in isolated habitats to the possibility to move through the continent again. In Suriname, WWF-Guianas will commence its jaguar monitoring this year to define more in detail where jaguars live, also outside the key jaguar area in the southern part of the country. This will give insight to define what and where protection measures are needed.
Aiesha Williams, country manager WWF-Guianas, said that, “The relatively intact habitats of the Guianas belong to the few remaining jaguar in Latin America and that in order to protect this majestic species, it is vital that we protect the areas where they live and connect the important corridors which maintain connectivity to other habitats in Latin America. There is no time to lose. There are worrying signs that deforestation is increasing in the Guianas and with it poaching of jaguars. The animals are illegally hunted for their skin, bones and other parts that are used in traditional medicines. To prevent the king of our forests from getting threatened and ultimately extinct, we need to give them the space to roam through the continent again, by working with communities and other stakeholders and put in place the measures of the jaguar roadmap 2030.”
The Jaguar Roadmap 2030 includes proposals that mitigate human-jaguar conflict, connect and protect the feline’s habitats and support the well-being of local communities and Indigenous peoples who coexist with it. It focuses on strengthening the Jaguar Corridor, ensuring the connectivity of 30 priority landscapes including Southern Guianas, in order to guarantee the species’ mobility and long-term survival, since it requires large areas of land to find a mate and survive. The conservation of jaguar habitats is also fundamental for the livelihood and cultural continuity of the original peoples of Latin America, who are also threatened by deforestation, land-use change for agricultural expansion, irresponsible mining and energy projects, forest fires and urbanization.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Panthera, Wildlife Conservation Society and WWF support the Jaguar Roadmap 2030 through work at the national, regional, and transnational level. WWF contributes to the Jaguar Roadmap 2030 with a strategy that focuses on 15 of the 30 priority landscapes, among which is the Southern Guianas. By protecting the jaguar, benefits such as nature-based tourism and healthy balanced natural habitats will be generated for 53 million people living in the feline’s range. This underscores the importance of stimulating political will to adopt and activate the Jaguar Roadmap 2030.
WWF has been working on jaguar conservation for more than a decade carrying out activities that include monitoring populations and their prey in order to understand population trends and the ecology of the feline; implementing and promoting practices that reduce the human-jaguar conflict; supporting the protection of priority jaguar habitats and especially protected areas and developing financial models for sustainable conservation initiatives with the private sector to generate transformational changes.