World Jaguar Day is an opportunity to celebrate the jaguar and the many voices that are committed to its conservation. The goal is to provide information and resources for educators and the general international public, and inspire community outreach, participatory events, and learning about the western hemisphere's largest cat. It will also highlight the current and emerging threats they face, including an increase in illegal trafficking of their parts to Asia.
Each year on April 10, World Jaguar Day will highlight more of those conservation professionals and educators dedicated to protecting this unique carnivore and educating others about their importance to tropical ecosystems.
Jaguars are the most common face of the Amazon rainforest. There are many things that make them unique, for example, pound-for-pound Jaguars are the most powerful of the world's living big cats. They have the greatest bite force, supported by incredibly dense neck musculature. But, Jaguar populations are also declining since the early 1900s and in recent years, they have joined the ranks of tigers, elephants, rhinos, lions, pangolins, and other species, as a growing illegal trade in their parts has emerged.
World Jaguar Day celebrates the jaguar's uniqueness while calling attention to the
not-so-unique challenges they face in their survival, and what people are doing
to help them.
THE THREE BIG CHALLENGES
CONFLICT OVER LIVESTOCK
As Jaguars lose habitat, they also lose the prey they need to survive, and the cover they depend on to hunt. With fewer peccaries, deer, capybara, caiman, and other species, both jaguars and pumas are prone to killing livestock more frequently. This is particularly true where deforestation or habitat loss occurs rapidly, and where active management of livestock is lacking or absent. Because cattle are the livelihood of most local landowners, depredations are not tolerated for long if at all, and Jaguars are hunted or poisoned. Those that naturally avoid people are shot at in the belief they will kill livestock. If they are wounded but not killed, they often become cattle killers, unable to hunt their natural prey and thus beginning a cycle of conflict.