Case Study 5: Illegal Jaguar Trade in Latin America: An Evidence-Based Approach to Support Conservation Actions
In recent years, evidence suggesting an upsurge of trade in jaguar (Panthera onca) body parts to supply domestic and international markets has emerged throughout Latin America. Despite gaining significant media attention, there has not yet been a rigorous assessment of the scale, drivers, and potential impacts of this threat to Latin America’s most iconic wild cat.
This case study aims to fill this knowledge gap and support decision-making to address jaguar trade by:
- Exploring the extent, robustness and uncertainty of jaguar trade evidence.
- Analysing the prevalence of, and drivers leading to, jaguar killing and trade.
- Predicting the potential impacts of illegal trade on jaguar populations in the near future.
Data collection is based in Mesoamerica and Bolivia, in order to distinguish regional differences in the jaguar trade chain and market dynamics. Bringing together theories and methodologies from the social and natural sciences, including direct and indirect questioning techniques, interviews, online trade surveys, literature reviews, and bioeconomic models, this research will provide a comprehensive understanding of jaguar trade while also providing insights on the role of evidence within illegal wildlife trade.
Researcher: Melissa Arias
Collaborating organisation: Wildlife Conservation Society Mesoamerica