"Poaching Pressure Mounts On Jaguars, The Americas’ Iconic Big Cat"

"In the past seven years, trafficking of jaguars and their body parts has become a major threat to the species, with China the main destination."

"In late November 2019, authorities in Peru found two jaguar cubs in a house in Chanchamayo, in the country’s central Amazonian region. The cubs were so young that they still had part of the umbilical cord attached; their mother was nowhere to be found. Legal proceedings were opened against the alleged poachers, and although the cubs were taken to a specialized zoo, they died within a few weeks. Separation from the forest and their mother can be fatal for jaguar cubs.

The cubs were among 86 seizures associated with the species by Peruvian authorities between 2015 and 2020. In addition to live animals, authorities have recovered fangs, skins, skulls and other body parts, according to the National Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR). Studies by SERFOR and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) indicate that the nine jaguar-related items seized in 2019 represent less than 10% of what can be found in some illegal markets around the country.

The seizures effectively amount to the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the illicit trade in parts and live specimens of jaguars in Peru, which is home to the second-largest population of the big cat in South America, behind only Brazil. The total wild population of the species is about 163,000, according to 2018 estimates by the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC) and the big cat conservation NGO Panthera."

Vanessa Romo reports for Mongabay, September 14, 2020, with translation by Sydney Sims.

Source: Mongabay, 09/15/2020