Current Jaguar situation in Argentina

Cornered in the Yungas forests of Salta and Jujuy, a portion daily increasingly modified of the dry Chaco and in the remainder of the Misiones Atlantic Forest, the situation of the Jaguar in Argentina is complicated, in fact, it is a CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SPECIES, this means that if certain threats it is currently facing does no change , it could become extinct in the coming years.

The Jaguar Network / Red Yaguareté estimates that we just have fewer than 250 adults Yaguaretés across the country, divided into three distinct populations: 1) Yungas of Salta and Jujuy, 2) Chaco Region (almost exclusively in Chaco Seco, with raids and sites that should be investigated by likely presence in areas of wet Chaco) and portions of the Atlantic Forest or Paranaense (coinciding almost entirely with the Green Corridor, but not absolutely).

However, these descriptions that allow us to circumscribe the issue and address it in a more orderly fashion, as shown continuously Yaguaretés away from these areas, it is an animal capable of traveling long distances even through highly modified by human environments.

Broadly speaking, we are talking about 120-150 jaguars in the Yungas, about 20 in the Chaco and 50-70 in the Misiones rainforest area, which, wherever you look, speaks clearly of the jaguar population of Argentina is at the limit.

Jaguars of Yungas and Chaco Seco could still have a minimal chance of contact (there are no studies to ensure this, only isolated individuals data in the area), but in the long term and we can almost say it is very difficult for the advancing agricultural frontier depriving it of its habitat and exposes fatal (for him) encounters with human. Anyway, its distribution is partially known in our country, there are areas where their presence is known and others where there is insufficient data. Often we surprised us with some whale isolated in regions where it is not believed present (as in the Pilcomayo National Park in Formosa).

According to Humboldt, in the early 19th century out annually to Europe, only the port of Buenos Aires, 2,000 jaguar skins. Fat is highly regarded by the common people from various parts of America as a remedy for many ills and especially against rheumatism (Cabrera and Yepes, 1960). Martin Herrán has cited a person that went to the Chaco province in February 2001 looking for «Tigre fat» to alleviate muscle aches, who said it is increasingly expensive because there are fewer individuals.

In the central Pampas of Argentina, it was already completely extinct by 1925. According Canevari (1), the last jaguar seems to have been captured as a female cub at Estancia San Basilio, around 1903. In this area the Jaguar lived at large, dense grasses surrounding flooded areas and waterways, because in it there are no forests.

The same author relates the following: in Argentina, the «Jaguar» was once widely distributed. For old events traveler, place names and words and aboriginal names, it can be inferred that in the past reached the Santa Cruz River, according to Cabrera in 1780 there were still «tigers» in the upper Santa Cruz River. There are references to the late 19th century and early 20th on the presence of jaguars in Buenos Aires and La Pampa, to the banks of the Colorado River. In early 1900 they still lived in the northern province of Corrientes.

In Entre Rios, the last jaguar was killed in 1950 (or at least the most recent record we have), in Espinillo, and although said he had come in camalotes (aquatic plants) from the north, we never knew if this was really so, it was a male of 85 kilos.

Throughout its area of ​​distribution, the Yaguareté find two fundamental problems of survival: habitat modification (with the consequent loss of refuges and natural prey) and hunting pressure because of the attacks on domestic livestock.

When they attack cattle, the option seems to be kill them, which is the most usual. In Misiones province, the areas most affected by Jaguares predation on livestock or dogs are the limits (rural Colonia Andresito and Caburé-i) and the south (airport area and neighboring farms) Iguazu National Park, the livestock area of ​​Montecarlo in the center, and Ruiz de Montoya, near the Salto Encantado Provincial Park.

In Salta and Jujuy, registered attacks occur in almost all Original communities, stockbreeding performing extensively, lack of care or surveillance favors attacks on calves. These areas could be demarcated from the south-west of the Calilegua National Park to the area Baritú and all the intermediate sector, with frequent cases of specimens hunted. Also in the area between Oran and Acambuco, on the mountains of Tartagal and the banks of the Rio Grande de Tarija.

But beyond actual conflict or not so much with domestic animals, the Jaguar is still hunted although it not mess with humans, just in case, for fun or «sport», etc., etc .. cases of dead specimens are known in the hole jaguar range.

In Misiones province there is a bill that would establish a compensation for those farmers who suffered Jaguar attacks in their cattle, but must be accompanied by a joint work with farmers in order to generate improvements in the handling of animals and fundamentally reduce hunting Jaguar prey and the same Jaguars. Some of this took place biologist Pablo Perovic in the town of Stairs in Jujuy in the early 90s, showing that the impact of hunting on Yaguaretés was almost zero during the period that lasted the experience, but noted that remove considered optimal villagers in the area. However, the biologist considers that this scheme would be better employed as a program of «shock», which should be replaced in the long time, a program that encourages farmers affected to seek alternative solutions. (3)

Still, Jaguars are showing that possesses an impressive level of resistance to human action. This fact can be seen particularly in the province of Misiones, where he lives among thousands of people in a jungle that every day is reduced and fragmented. Beyond its relatively rapid historical retraction, in recent decades (5), its range has been maintained, and although in some areas where it was common now rare, still walking among men, in areas where it is still surprise your presence.

Our estimates indicate that we have fewer than 250 wild Jaguars. Are few and the situation is difficult, but there are some hopes in the hands of the «New Tigreros» and in some interesting projects that need to be improved and supported.

Is up to us to keep the Great Spotted walking our forests, what would be its magic without the Yaguareté?

NOTE: This particular page is modified and updated regularly, adding new data and correcting others as new information which may occur and mainly due to the lack of existing and available information on the Jaguar in Argentina and dynamism that their environments are constantly suffering. So, what you find written here today, it may not be exactly the same as you find tomorrow.