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International Jaguar Day: Belize leads drive to conserve the jaguar

Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2023. 9:13 am CST.

Photo Credit: internationaljaguarday.org

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Wednesday, November 29 is International Jaguar Day.

Belize is a global leader in jaguar conservation, as it hosts the world’s only jaguar preserve – The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, in the Stann Creek District. This sanctuary, established in 1986, covers 150 square miles of Maya Mountain forest and provides a safe habitat for the jaguars and other wildlife.

Jaguars are the largest wild cats in the Americas and play a vital role in maintaining the health and diversity of the ecosystems they inhabit. However, they face many threats from habitat loss, poaching, conflict with humans and livestock, and climate change. That is why International Jaguar Day, celebrated every year on November 29, aims to raise awareness and support for the protection of these magnificent animals and their habitats across 14 countries.

According to internationaljaguarday.org, the jaguars face increasing threats to their survival and the conservation efforts ensuring their survival from Mexico to Argentina are of utmost importance.

“International Jaguar Day was created to raise awareness about the increasing threats facing the jaguar and the critical conservation efforts ensuring its survival from Mexico to Argentina,” said internationaljaguarday.org.

“Observed annually on November 29, International Jaguar Day celebrates the Americas’ largest wild cat as an umbrella species for biodiversity conservation and an icon for sustainable development and the centuries-old cultural heritage of Central and South America.

“International Jaguar Day also represents the collective voice of jaguar range countries, in collaboration with national and international partners, to draw attention to the need to conserve jaguar corridors and their habitats.”

International Jaguar Day was initiated by the Jaguar 2030 Forum, a collaborative effort of governments, NGOs, scientists, and local communities held at the United Nations in 2018 to secure the future of the jaguar and its landscapes.

One of the activities organized for this occasion was the Run for Jaguars race, led by Roxana Lemus, a Belizean zookeeper and runner, in her drive to draw attention to the plight of the jaguars.

Additionally, we must say that the jaguar Belize National Football Team is referred to as the Jaguars in honour of the wild cat that inhabits our territory.

 

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