To commemorate International Jaguar Day on Sunday, November 29th, WCS is announcing a webinar of top jaguar experts to discuss conservation opportunities and threats facing the Americas only big cat species. International Jaguar Day is held every year to raise awareness of the threats to jaguars, its role as a key indicator of ecosystem health, and to inform conservation efforts to guarantee its survival. 

The webinar, called Jaguar Conservation, Opportunities and Challenges” takes place on Wednesday November 25th from 10-11:30 a.m. ET, and features experts from WCS’s Bolivia and Guatemala Programs, CITES, and EL PAcCTO’s (Europe Latin America Technical Assistance Programme against Transnational Organized Crime) Red Jaguar/Jaguar Network.

Panelists will discuss jaguar conservation, including international agreements regulating international trade, collaboration among authorities vs. international organized crime, and the efforts of organized civil society to conserve the species. 

The webinar will be in Spanish only, and is free and open to the public. To participate, register at www.conversatoriojaguar.org until Tuesday, November 24.

Panelists include:

Juan Carlos Vasquez, CITES Chief of Legal and Trade Policy Officer Unit (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)

Xavier Cousquer, El PAcCTO Co-Director (International Organized Crime Assistance Program for Europe and Latin America)

Rob Wallace, WCS Director of the Madidi-Tambopata Greater Landscape Conservation Program in Bolivia

Rony Garcia-Anleu, Biological Research Director for WCS Guatemala

The jaguar (Panthera onca) is the largest feline in the Americas and the third-largest in the world. The species inhabits the area between the U.S./Mexico borderlands and Argentina and is considered an ambassador of the Americas, serving as an iconic cultural symbol for Indigenous communities. Jaguar populations, however, have declined by as much as 50 percent from their original numbers due to habitat loss and deforestation. These threats are compounded by illegal trafficking, poaching, human/jaguar conflict, expansion of agricultural activities, and reduction of prey species, among other things.

In recent years, countries in the Andean and Amazon regions have experienced an increase in the illegal trade of jaguar parts, including fangs, claws, skins, and bones, which are sold in local or international markets for ornamental or medicinal use. In Bolivia, for instance, about 786 jaguar fangs from 197 animals have been seized since 2014. These had been destined for the Asian market.

WCS’s long-term vision is for jaguar populations to thrive in multiple large conservation landscapes, with a commitment to protect more than 5,000 jaguars and 400,000 square kilometers (154,440 square miles) of their habitat across nine large wild landscapes in Latin America.