New York, NY – Today, fourteen Latin American nations released the Jaguar 2030 New York Statement, resolving to work together on a number of key actions to promote jaguar conservation from Mexico to Argentina.
Pledging strengthened transnational conservation collaborations, the statement follows a high-level jaguar forum organized on March 1 at the United Nations, marking the first-ever convening of such a large number of range state governments on the topic of jaguar conservation. Co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and Colombia, the forum was organized by the United Nations Development Programme, Panthera, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund.
Panthera Jaguar Program Executive Director, Dr. Howard Quigley, stated, “The resolution made today by 14 jaguar range states across Central and South America represents the most important step in jaguar conservation since Alan Rabinowitz first identified the importance of a connected Jaguar Corridor in 2000. The cooperation of these nations is absolutely critical to the species’ survival, which depends on the jaguar’s ability to move freely and safely across borders along the length of its range.
The jaguar’s power to convene nations is owed to its great ecological, economic and cultural importance—and the unique opportunity that is still within reach to save it. We commend all of the attending countries for their vision of an international collaboration to protect the jaguar and all of the biodiversity it supports.
At a time when many big cat species around the globe hang on by a thread, with some populations hovering in the dozens, the future of the resilient jaguar shines bright, thanks to the dedication of the governments and people sharing their homes with this big cat.”
In signing the Jaguar 2030 New York Statement, governments have vowed to collaborate in support of a regional approach to securing the future of the jaguar – a welcome sign for a big cat that uniquely exists as one species throughout its range, with no subspecies. The resolution also involves support of transnational research and data-sharing; scaling up conservation frameworks for the benefit of biodiversity, local people and economies; private sector conservation investments; local community engagement, seen as a critical conservation stakeholder; and awareness and behavior change initiatives.
Existing in 14 of the 18 jaguar range states, Panthera’s Jaguar Corridor Initiative (JCI) is working hand in hand with governments, local communities and international and local conservation organizations to preserve the genetic integrity and future of the jaguar by connecting and protecting core populations across the species’ range.
Now in its second year, Panthera’s Journey of the Jaguar is the latest JCI program, led by Chief Scientist Dr. Alan Rabinowitz and Dr. Howard Quigley. This ten-nation odyssey is the first-ever attempt by man to traverse the jaguar’s six million km2 landscape to assess the state of the species, the integrity of its wild landscapes, and the areas most in need of conservation attention throughout Latin America.
Although ever-evolving, the leading threats facing jaguars today include habitat loss and fragmentation brought on by human developments, killings in retaliation for loss of livestock and overhunting of prey species by local communities. Relatively new to this matrix of threats is poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, with a recent resurgence in Bolivia, among other countries.
Perhaps due to its conservation status compared to other endangered big cat species, the jaguar has received little international conservation attention in recent years. Once thriving across 20 countries, the jaguar has been declared extinct in El Salvador and Uruguay, with remnant individuals found within the United States. Still, hope is very much alive for the long-term future of the jaguar, with the species existing in nearly 50 percent of its historic range.