Gandhinagar, India (February 20, 2020) – The jaguar proposal for Appendix I and II was approved by consensus in Committee at the CMS CoP 13 in India today, and will be formally adopted on Saturday, Feb. 22nd.  Costa Rica introduced it on behalf of the 6 co-sponsors; governments which spoke in support were Panama, the EU, Australia, UK, Senegal, India, Nigeria, and Eswatini.

The following statement is by Dr. Susan Lieberman, WCS Vice president for International Policy:

“WCS greatly appreciates the proposal submitted by Costa Rica, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay to include the jaguar on CMS Appendices I and II, and subsequent the adoption by Parties. The jaguar is an emblematic species of the Americas, due to both its importance in maintaining natural landscapes and ecosystem functionality, and as an important element of indigenous cultures for centuries. The jaguar, the largest native feline in the Americas, is indeed a migratory, transboundary species as defined by CMS. I would also like to thank all of the Parties for their highly supportive interventions.

“WCS works to preserve jaguars in a set of globally significant, strategically located Jaguar Conservation Units that contribute to range-wide conservation of the species. On the ground we work in 8 countries, and multiple biomes and ecosystems from the Selva Maya through the Amazon to the Chaco.

“Today, more than at any time in history, the jaguar is threatened by habitat loss, direct persecution, and declines in prey populations. Poaching for jaguar body parts is on the rise and hunting of prey species is also a threat. The majority of jaguar sub-populations are either Endangered or Critically Endangered, using the IUCN Red List criteria, across their 18-country range.

“Given the rate of range retraction that is driven by habitat loss, and that most important jaguar sub-populations have been demonstrated to be transboundary, inclusion of jaguars in Appendix I and II of CMS is warranted.

We would also like to highlight the March 2018 High-level Forum for jaguars, held at UN HQ in NYC, which led to the recently completed 2030 Jaguar Conservation Road Map. The Road Map provides a blueprint for the species, including conservation planning across all jaguar range states, and all of the transboundary JCUs and corridors connecting them.

“CMS, the only international treaty devoted exclusively to the conservation of migratory species, is well placed to heed the call from these range States of the jaguar, and agree to steps to save this culturally and ecologically significant species—so that their roar across the forests and grasslands of the Americas will never be silenced.”