A 14-country jaguar conservation plan, efforts to protect the last 7 female southern right whales in Peru and Chile, and unexpected biodiversity discovered along Chile’s north coast were among the top stories last week by our Spanish-language service, Mongabay Latam.
Jaguar protection plan signed by 14 Latin countries
Fourteen countries launched a plan to secure 30 priority jaguar conservation landscapes in Latin America by 2030. The Jaguar 2030 Conservation Roadmap for the Americas prioritizes four actions: connectivity, protecting the species (Panthera onca) and its ecosystems, corridor conservation, along with landscape identification and creation. The biggest cats in Latin America, jaguars range through 18 countries where they are threatened by habitat loss, fang and skin trafficking, and conflicts with nearby communities, especially cattle ranches.
Fending for the last 7 female southern right whales in Peru and Chile
There could be as few as 7 remaining female southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) in an adult population of 50, according to the Cetacean Conservation Center, a Chilean NGO. Given the risks posed by fishermen, the International Whaling Commission developed the first multinational rescue training workshops for researchers in Chile and Peru. “Considering the critical population level of this species, even one whale dying in a net is very serious,” said Barbara Galletti, CCC coordinator for the southern right whale conservation management plan.
Chile’s northern coast reveals unexpected biodiversity
An expedition off Chile’s northern coast is finding levels of marine life rarely seen elsewhere in the country’s waters. Researchers are investigating whether the high diversity is due to upwelling (a process that brings deep, nutrient-rich waters to the surface), or the preponderance of Thioploca bacteria. Initial video footage could serve as a basis for a new conservation area.
Afro-Colombian communities fight to recover lands from palm oil plantations
Long before becoming infamous for coca cultivation and deforestation, the Pacific port region of Tumaco grew oil palms. For decades, the Colombian government subsidized the expansion of large plantations that once produced 40% of the country’s palm oil. Now, Afro-descendent communities established since the seventeenth century have filed suit to win back lands lost to these plantations.
Peru: Lima restaurants serve endangered fish
Lima restaurants unknowingly serve endangered fish species under different names. A survey of 364 mid-ranking restaurants, grocery stores and ports found 43% of the fish sold under different names were critically endangered and threatened species, including the critically endangered American eel (Anguilla rostrate), and the endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), along with the vulnerable humpback smoothhound shark (Mustelus whitneyi), shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus), and albacore (Thunnus alalonga). Another study found other species sold under different names, including the threatened whale shark (Rhincodon typus), white marlin (Tetrapturus albidus), smooth hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zygaena), humpback smoothhound, and bigeye thresher (Alopias superciliosus) sharks.
Read the original stories in their entirety in Spanish here at Mongabay Latam.