Why Jaguars matter
Jaguars are the top predators in their ecosystem so play an important role in controlling the populations of species they eat. This maintains balance in the food chain and so keeps habitats and ecosystems healthy.
By protecting jaguars and their habitat, we’re also helping to preserve ecosystems which are important to other animals (and there are a lot in the Amazon and Pantanal!) as well as people.
In the Amazon an area the size of three football pitches is lost every minute. These forests are a key habitat for jaguars. Deforestation not only reduces the amount of habitat available to jaguars, it also fragments it and isolates populations. This can make them more vulnerable to threats by people.
Prey loss and conflict with people
People hunt the jaguars’ natural prey – so they see jaguars as competition for food. Also, due to the loss of habitat, jaguars sometimes kill cattle, so ranchers regard them as a pest. For these reasons jaguars are sometimes killed by people protecting their livelihoods.
Before the mid-1970’s jaguars were frequently hunted for their beautiful coats. Poaching has declined, thanks to anti-fur campaigns and CITES controls on international markets. But there’s still some demand for jaguar paws, teeth and other parts, which are generally used in traditional medicines. Illegal wildlife trade.
Words by WWF-UK
The Jaguar is awaiting his/her name.
Follow the making of on my Instagram
Help save the Jaguar, adopt and donate here.