The jaguar, the largest predator in South America, has returned to the Iberá wetlands in Argentina for the first time in 70 years through a rewilding project.
Adult jaguar Mariua, who was rescued as an orphan cub in Brazil, and her two captive-born cubs were released into Gran Iberá Park in January by local wildlife organisation Rewilding Argentina, who manage the wetlands. They are the first of nine jaguars slated to repopulate the species in the 687,966 hectares of protected wetlands.
The release marks the first reintroduction of jaguars in the country after the species were driven to local extinction through hunting and habitat loss. Currently, only about 200 jaguars remain in Argentina.
Bringing back top predators such as the jaguar and the giant river otter, and seed bearers like peccaries and macaws is helping the Iberá wetlands recover from hunting and decades of cattle grazing and monoculture plantations, according to Rewilding Argentina.
Image Credit: Jaguar Reintroduction Centre/Rafael Abuin
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living.