Panthera: 500 Jaguars Estimated to have Lost Homes or Lives in Amazonian Blazes

Pensif by Françoise Morio. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Many people have heard about the devastating fires in the Brazilian Amazon. Unfortunately, neighboring Bolivia has also suffered from heightened fire activity this summer, as has the Brazilian Pantanal: the world’s largest wetland. All told, scientists at Panthera – an international wild cat conservation organization – estimate that 500 jaguars have lost their homes or their lives.

According to this press release, Panthera generated these estimates by matching data from the amount of forest burned with information about jaguar (Panthera onca) densities.

As Panthera states, the jaguars who survived the recent blazes are still in dire straits. Much of their less mobile prey is likely to have perished, which means that hunger might drive more jaguars to hunt livestock. This, in turn, will expose the cats to retaliatory killings.

With less cover available, jaguars will also be easier to see – and shoot.

Worst of all, the burnt forest might never be given a chance to recover. Dr. Esteban Payán, Panthera’s Regional Director for Northern South America and Panama, explains that farming, ranching, and logging operations will likely move into the charred lands before the forest can regrow.

The Amazonian fires aren’t only bad for jaguars, they’re also a problem for countless other species and people.

Furthermore – given the Amazon’s immense significance in regard to climate regulation, biodiversity (the Amazon contains 25% of the Earth’s total biodiversity), and other domains – the impacts of this summer’s fires will be felt around the world.

For more information, please see Panthera’s original press release.

7 Thoughts

  1. We are all losers when such short-sighted economic policies that provide financial gains for a few–as those espoused by Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro–are given preference over environment policies that help sustain all life on Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, I had no idea the Amazon account for 25% of the Earth’s biodiversity. Posts and articles like these made me feel so scared and sad for our planet’s future as bad news about the environment is becoming the norm. We rarely read good news about what’s happening with the environment nowadays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, the Amazon is crucially important. When a species goes extinct, thousands – if not millions – of years of genetic material is lost, and there’s so much genetic material in the Amazon that it’s like a grand library of the blueprints for life on Earth. Imagine if that was suddenly gone?

      Things do look really bleak right now for just about everything – not just the environment. There’s a certain class of people who’s mostly responsible for that.

      Liked by 1 person

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