First wild jaguars in 70 years born in Argentina national park
A captive-born jaguar released last year into Argentina’s Ibera National Park has given birth to two cubs — the first born in the wild in 70 years in the protected wetland, conservation organization Rewilding Argentina said Thursday.
A hidden camera confirmed the guardians’ suspicions of the happy event, showing that the mother jaguar was caring for her offspring, said Magali Longo, coordinator of the foundation’s Jaguar Reintroduction Center (CRY).
“The mating of free jaguars and the birth of a new generation in freedom is excellent news for the project that aims to stop the extinction of this species,” Rewilding Argentina said in a statement.
It also raised hopes of “restoring a healthy population of jaguars” to the region that was once their natural home.
The cubs are the offspring of Arami, born in the CRY in 2018 and released into the protected park last September, and Jatobazinho, a male rescued in Brazil, donated to the Argentine project in 2019 and was released into the park in December.
They were among eight jaguars released last year in Ibera Park, where they live like their wild ancestors: hunting capybaras, wild boars and deer.
“If both cubs survive — something we should know in the coming weeks — Ibera’s jaguar population will increase to 10,” said Sebastian Di Martino, the foundation’s conservation director.
This was significant, he added, as only about 15 jaguars are known to live in the Chaco ecoregion that encompasses the park.
The CRY Breeding and Rehabilitation Center has been operating for a decade in Argentina’s Corrientes province, where the jaguar was locally extinct 70 years ago.
It is estimated that there are between 200 and 300 Jaguars in Argentina.
Jaguar released into Argentina to help endangered species
© 2022 AFP
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