The Rewilding Argentina Foundation announced this Wednesday the release of a male jaguar specimen in the Iberá Wetlands, province of Corrientes and this action marks the second return of a wild-origin jaguar to its habitat in the province as part of a reintroduction project.
Called “Coli”, the jaguar was rescued in Paraguay and donated to the reintroduction project in Iberá after being orphaned in the wild and his arrival represents the second male released in Corrientes, thus contributing to the growth of the incipient Iberá population and providing genetic variability to strengthen it, according to the Rewilding Argentina Foundation.
The organization noted that hunting and habitat loss have led to this species losing more than 95% of its range in Argentina, with only 200-250 jaguars surviving in the country. The situation is particularly critical in the Argentine Chaco, where fewer than 15 specimens remain, and in Paraguay, where a similar process is observed.
As reported Telamthrough a collaboration between the province of Corrientes, National Parks and Rewilding, it was possible to establish a new population of at least 17 jaguars in the wild between 2021 and 2023.
In this way, “Coli” thus becomes number 18 in the free population of Iberá, thanks to the collaboration between the government of Paraguay and several organizations dedicated to the rescue of orphaned puppies.
After being rescued and receiving veterinary care, this jaguar was transferred to the Yaguareté Introduction Center in Iberá, where it was rehabilitated and prepared for its return to the wild. After more than a year of preparation, on September 6, he was released on a drizzly night, joining other jaguars in their natural habitat.
Currently, “Coli” meets other jaguars, and it is expected that there will soon be reproductive encounters with the females in the wild in Iberá, which will improve the genetic variability of the growing population in the great Corrientes wetland.
In America, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil are united in efforts to recover the yaguareté. The species needs connected protected areas and activities that encourage coexistence with livestock and communities.
A little more than 15 days ago, The same Rewilding Argentina Foundation announced the sighting of new specimens of jaguars in the Iberá Wetlands and with these sightings, the population of wild jaguars in that region of Corrientes has reached 16, making the province the area with the largest population of these animals in Argentina.
The cameras were placed there by foundation staff and CONICET scientists with the aim of monitoring the incipient population of Iberá jaguars. They are located in each of the mountains of San Alonso Island, in the heart of the Great Iberá Park. , pointed out the Corrientes government.
They also specified that “in this way, videos are recorded of each animal that passes in front of them, and since the pattern of spots on the jaguars is unique for each individual, like our fingerprints, researchers can recognize each one of them.” they”.
It is noteworthy that the new specimens born in the wild were observed on cameras and do not wear satellite monitoring collars, which can only be determined once they reach adulthood and can be captured, according to the news agency..
And although the numbers may seem low, The jaguar population in this province represents around 10% of the population in Argentina, where it is estimated that between 200 and 250 individuals survive. Corrientes has gone from not having any free jaguars in the last seventy years to hosting the largest group of the Chaco subpopulation of the species, which also lives in Salta, Jujuy, Formosa, Chaco and Santiago del Estero.
The presence of the jaguar in the ecosystem is essential, since it plays an ecological role as a “top predator”, regulating the distribution and abundance of other species in Iberá, including other predators, herbivores and plants. These reintroduction and monitoring efforts continue to be essential for the conservation of this emblematic species in South America.
With information from Télam