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First Mating of a Wild and Captive Jaguar has produced two Cubs

The cubs will be raised by their captive mother in a secure enclosure without human contact in El Impenetrable National Park until they can be released into the wild. This novel approach brings new hope to recover this highly endangered species in the Argentine Chaco.

EL IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK, CHACO, ARG— The Province of Chaco, Argentina’s National Parks Administration and Rewilding Argentina have confirmed that Tania, a captive jaguar in the breeding program of Rewilding Argentina, has given birth to two cubs approximately three months after breeding with Qaramta, the sole wild jaguar in Impenetrable National Park. This is the first mating attempt between a wild and captive jaguar anywhere in the world.

In the Argentine Chaco, the situation for this top predator is critical. Poaching and deforestation have put America’s biggest cat in imminent danger of extinction. There are now fewer than 20 individual specimens left roaming the millions of hectares of this immense territory, yet, the species remains a powerful symbol of the region, according to Jorge Capitanich, the governor of Chaco Province, who announced the news.

The jaguar was believed to have gone extinct in El Impenetrable, a national park created in 2014 with help from Tompkins Conservation. Yet, the appearance of footprints on the muddy shores of the Bermejo River in September, 2019 kindled unexpected hope. Camera traps confirmed a young male roaming the area. He was fitted with a satellite collar to track his movements and named Qaramta, “the one who it cannot be destroyed, ” in the local Qom language. Today he is four years old and weighs 113.6 kilos. To keep him from roaming too far from the safety of the national park, Rewilding Argentina brought a captive female whose scent would anchor his movements until an adequate breeding pen could be constructed and authorization for mating was given by the local and national authorities.

“As we head into the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the time has come to take bold actions to save species, it’s essential to restoring ecosystems and ensuring planetary health for all,” says Kristine Tompkins, president of Tompkins Conservation and UN Patron of Protected Areas. “These jaguar cubs show that species by species, we can change the trajectory of mass extinctions.”

As a young male roaming a huge territory in search of a mate, Qaramta is much like the solitary jaguar specimens recorded in the Argentine Chaco and other areas where the species is on the verge of extinction, such as Arizona and New Mexico in the Southwestern US.  Tania, a captive breeder from Rewilding Argentina’s Jaguar Reintroduction Center in the Ibera wetlands of Argentina, had already successfully raised two cubs in that program; they are now slated for release in the wetlands. Previously a zoo specimen, her wild great-grandparents came from the Chaco, captured in 1989 as cubs orphaned by poachers.

Camera trap records indicate that Tania gave birth to two healthy cubs early on January 30th. They will be raised in large enclosures until they can be released when they reach maturity in two or three years. In the meantime, efforts will focus on protecting more of the territory around the Bermejo River as a safe haven for the species. Eradicating poaching and developing ecotourism will also be key. “We need to ensure an economy based on nature tourism, so that these cubs may roam freely and safely,” says Sofía Heinonen, executive director of Rewilding Argentina. “So that the jaguars and the people of El Impenetrable can coexist and prosper.”

Rewilding Argentina receives support from DOB Ecology to restore the Gran Chaco, and from its strategic partner Tompkins Conservation, a leader in rewilding and park creation in the Southern Cone.

For more information, contact carolynmccarthy@tompkinsconservation.org.

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Mating Wild and Captive Jaguars to Save the Species

Nov 11, 2020 –IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK, ARG On October 17, 2020, an unlikely romance was underway in the Gran Chaco. A wild jaguar, the first discovered in Impenetrable National Park, entered the pen of a captive jaguar with the promise of mating. Their encounter is the product of months of a strange, socially-distanced courtship undertaken across solid steel fencing, monitored by cameras and a team of hopeful scientists from Rewilding Argentina. If the pairing is successful, these jaguars will become the first wild-captive pair to mate in history, key progenitors in an effort to repopulate a top predator of the Americas.

Matchmaking wild and not-so-wild jaguars is a highly creative solution to the larger issue of saving wild jaguars, a priority put forth by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) at the most recent World Conservation Congress in September, 2020. The largest feline in the Americas, they have lost over half their historical range from the southern US to Argentina, a loss of habitat which has left several populations of the species geographically isolated and some individuals unable to encounter mating partners.

Jaguars were thought to be already extinct in El Impenetrable National Park, created in 2014 with help from Tompkins Conservation. Continue reading

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Community Beautification in Chilean Patagonia

Tompkins Conservation Chile, together with the community of El Amarillo, in the region of Los Lagos, implemented a restoration plan for the gateway village to Pumalín Douglas Tompkins Park. A new e-book tells the story.

November 12, 2020. Improving the quality of life, generating local pride and stimulating small-scale tourism were the objectives of the beautification project promoted by Tompkins Conservation Chile together with the community of El Amarillo, a town located in the southern access point of the Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park, 25 kilometers from Chaitén.

With hopes to inspire other communities to carry out similar projects, Tompkins Conservation Chile launched a digital book that compiles the history of this collaborative program, which created a facelift for El Amarillo through the restoration of facades and fences, extensive landscaping, signage by local artisans, and the construction of attractive architectural details like “chirimbolos” (decorative moldings).

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Patagonia’s Route of Parks: a Crucial Carbon Sink in South America

The 17 national parks located between Puerto Montt and Cape Horn store about 30% of the total carbon found in the soil and biomass in all of Chile. As one of the principal concentrations of carbon storage in South America, it’s crucial to the mitigation of global climate change.  


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Arcadia Charitable Fund supports Tompkins Conservation in the protection of endangered huemul deer in Patagonia

Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, has contributed to the acquisition of three properties adjacent to Cerro Castillo National Park in Chilean Patagonia, which will be donated to the Chilean state in a few years. This purchase allows the launch of the ambitious National Huemul Corridor.

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Once-extinct Macaws are Repopulating Iberá

Red-and-green Macaw - ©Rewilding Argentina -1

Rewilding Argentina has released five juvenile red-and-green macaws as part of an ongoing project to return this extinct species to Argentina.

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A TED Talk by Kristine Tompkins

As part of TED 2020 Uncharted, the President of Tompkins Conservation, Kristine Tompkins, presents a call to reimagine the future of our planet. She speaks as someone who followed up on a long stint as CEO of Patagonia with a thirty-year career in conservation. In this intimate TED Talk, she argues that restoring nature and carrying out rewilding on a large scale are actions essential for our collective survival that are not as impossible as we might think.

 

In the talk, she emphasizes, “Every human life is affected by the actions of every other human life around the globe and the fate of humanity is tied to the health of the planet.  We have a common destiny—we can flourish, or suffer— but it’s going to be together.”

 

Not the usual TED talk, it was filmed at her dining room table due to the pandemic. You can find it at go.ted.com/kristinetompkins.

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Saving Endangered Darwin’s Rhea in Patagonia

Tompkins Conservation, with assistance from the Chilean parks service, has released fourteen Darwin’s rheas in Patagonia National Park to reestablish a sustainable wild population. The initiative is part of a broader plan to rewild Patagonia.

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National Geographic magazine features Tompkins Conservation

We are very honored that the May edition of National Geographic features Tompkins Conservation in an article by the renowned science writer David Quammen. The article is part of a series on The Last Wild Places, a decade-long National Geographic Society initiative that supports six conservation initiatives around the world with the ambitious goal of preserving thirty percent of the planet by 2030.

Photo: Tomás Munita / National Geographic Photo: Tomás Munita / National Geographic

For us, a feature in the iconic yellow-bordered book, which started in 1888 and is published in 40 languages, represents a unique opportunity to share our 29-year collective effort to protect, restore and rewild the Southern Cone with people all over the world. We hope some may even be inspired and moved to act on behalf of threatened ecosystems in their own backyards.

You can read the article here and see the related documentary feature about our work to restore nine native species to Argentina’s Ibera wetlands, including once extinct jaguars, giant river otters and macaws. For more on this story, visit National Geographic.

Link: www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2020/05/how-an-unprecedented-gift-built-a-legacy-of-conservation-in-patagonia-feature

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(Español) Inauguración “Casa Museo Lucas Bridges”, en Parque Nacional Patagonia, busca homenajear al hombre que trajo desarrollo ganadero y cultura a la región de Aysén

Sorry, this entry is only available in European Spanish.

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