Yaguareté Project: “the recovery of the species is possible”

By Iguazú Argentina
17 de December 2019 • Por Iguazú Argentina

On November 29, members of the “Yaguareté Project” - where the efforts of Argentine researchers of the Institute of Subtropical Biology (UNaM-CONICET), the team of the Onças do Iguaçu Project of Brazil (PNI-ICMBio) and the Foundation join Wildlife Argentina, among others- announced in a press conference the increase of the population of Yaguaretés to 105 individuals, who inhabit the Paranaense jungle.

In this context, Agustín Paviolo, Doctor in Biology and Researcher at Conicet, coordinator of the “Yaguareté Project” team, continues to talk with us.

Why is the yaguareté a species that is in danger of extinction?

It´s said that a species is in danger of extinction when very few individuals remain and their populations have been declining sharply in recent times. The yaguareté has already lost more than 95% of its original habitat in the country. Currently we estimate that there are between 200 and 300 Yaguaretés throughout the country, when a little over 100 years ago there were many thousands.The population of Yaguaretés in Argentina is basically divided into three regions:- Province of Misiones: which we share with Brazil (Do Iguaçu National Park and Do Turvo State Park).- Provinces of Salta and Jujuy: in the Yungas (mountain jungles).- Province of Chaco: it is the most critically threatened population.

Besides the yaguareté, what other species are in danger?

Particularly in the province of Misiones, we have several threatened species, not only of mammals but also of birds or amphibians.In Argentina there are several threatened species that inhabit the province of Misiones, in addition to the yaguareté: the thyrica and the margay, two species of felines. The tapir, the pecarí labiado, some birds such as the yacutinga or the vinous chest parrot... We even have extinct species such as the saw saw, which is a duck that lives in streams of crystalline jungle waters. Surely we are losing other species and we are not aware of the seriousness of the situation with the naked eye. That is why research work is so important.

Could you give us some suggestions for the preservation of the environment?

I think one of the suggestions is to consume less of everything: from energy to things that are not essential for life. Lower overall consumption of everything we consume daily. If we reduce consumption a bit, those threats to biodiversity go down. Less consumption, less garbage and less extensive use of natural resources.Another suggestion: responsible consumption, that is, try to choose the things that are produced with less environmental impact, such as recycled products or certified as less harmful to the planet.I think the key is to enjoy nature, become aware of what we have and all that nature brings us. Many people do not know the riches that are there, how beautiful it can be to be in nature ... When one loses contact and connection with nature, one forgets how important it is for the very life of the human being. We forget where things come from.You have to live and develop in harmony with nature. And we´ll all be much better!

November 29- International Yaguareté Day
As part of the celebration of International Yaguareté Day, in the city of Puerto Iguazú, researchers from the “Yaguareté Project” announced the results of the last monitoring carried out in the jungle through trap cameras.
The yaguareté is the third largest feline in the world, currently in danger of extinction, its role is essential as an indicator of environmental health.