Animals in Mexico: more than 600 species in danger of extinction

18/12/2019

In Mexico, at least 600 species are at risk of disappearing, including the jaguar, due to the environmental crisis affecting the country, mainly due to deforestation and habitat destruction, urban growth, tourism developments, as well as the illegal sale of animals, said Óscar Moctezuma Orozco, founding director of the Naturalia association.

Animals in Mexico: Jaguar
Animals in Mexico: Jaguar

At the conference, academics, researchers and members of non-governmental organizations spoke out for the conservation of the jaguar, since there are currently only 4,800 specimens at the national level, but pointed out that if federal authorities take the necessary measures for its protection, in the next 10 years its production could double and reach more than 8,000 species, otherwise it will disappear.

They reproached the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), as well as the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), for budget cuts.

Rodrígo Medellín, a researcher at the Ecology Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), denounced that in the country the illegal trafficking and sale of skinned jaguars, their skins and tusks sold mainly in the Asian market at a price of at least 15,000 dollars continues, and that if this trend continues they will be extinguished in the coming years.

For his part, Gerardo Ceballos, also a UNAM researcher and president of the National Alliance for Conservation, said that in order to maintain jaguar populations in the long term, a "well-defined" environmental policy is needed.

He said that in the case of jaguar conservation and biological diversity, CONAFOR's budget should be increased to support ejidatarios, community members and small landowners of the areas where the jaguar that has natural vegetation lives.

"It is fundamental to align the policies of the different federal government agencies, such as Sembrando Vida and the payment of Conafor's environmental services, so that they contribute to the conservation of this species. In addition, the National Environmental Guard should be consolidated as the fundamental axis for its protection, endangered species and protected areas in Mexico.

He added that communication and transportation infrastructure works should be prevented from fragmenting protected natural areas, priority biological corridors for the conservation of the jaguar, among them establishing fauna passages that are structures that connect areas that have been separated by some infrastructure work.

He added that in order to protect the jaguar, the alliance established a collaboration agreement with Fonatur to develop a strategy to protect the feline and consolidate conservation actions in the Yucatan Peninsula.

By Mexicanist