The Revelator – a new environmental magazine that’s been making waves – recently released a feature about jaguars (Panthera onca). Written by Lucy EJ Woods, the story focuses on jaguars in the Guatemala-Mexico borderlands.
Conserving wide-ranging species like jaguars is an international affair. Since these animals cross international borders in their search for territories, mating opportunities, and food, they can be impacted by policies and conditions in multiple countries. In this case, that impact is largely negative.
The story begins with the line, “In early April the mutilated body of a jaguar was found in Mexico’s Yaxchilán Natural Monument.” That pretty well sets the tone for the rest of the piece.
Woods goes into great detail about the social and political forces that are imperiling jaguars in the Guatemala-Mexico border region. She discusses organized crime, the large numbers of people settling in protected areas, the impacts of roads, and more.
Of course, Woods also discusses potential solutions to the problems she describes. In a nutshell, we need more collaboration: across social groups, across borders, and across ideologies.
It’s still possible to save jaguars, which may number as few as 15,000 wild individuals, but to do so we’ll have to work together.
Be sure to read Woods’ article in The Revelator, which contains much more information!