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The run over of a pregnant female jaguar warns of the risks for this species in Quintana Roo


The feline was less than four years old and was going to have her calf in a couple of days, according to the biologist who found her. Environmentalists denounce that seven jaguars have died on state highways in the last year

A pregnant jaguar female was run over this weekend on Highway 307, which connects Cancun with Playa del Carmen.RS

Naku was the name of the pregnant female jaguar that was run over this weekend on Highway 307, which connects Cancun with Playa del Carmen.

Mario Buil, the biologist who found her, pointed out that she was between three and four years old, and that her baby, also female, was over 90 days pregnant, that is, it should be born in one or two more days.

Both were hit by a vehicle of which nothing is known.

Her death once again shows the dangers that this emblematic species lives in Quintana Roo.

Gerardo Ceballos, president of the Alliance for the Conservation of the Jaguar, points out that between 2022 and so far this year seven jaguars have been run over.

"There are many, even if it were only one, it would still be a lot," he told EL PAÍS.

The Environment Attorney's Office has opened an investigation.

The images of Naku prostrate on the asphalt have sparked outrage over the death of another specimen of a protected species in Mexico.

Buil has shared that she must have been run over between 6 and 6:20 in the morning on February 2 between the Secret beach and the Nickelodeon hotel.

"Just before there is a sign for crossing or crossing a jaguar, they are not there for decoration or because they look pretty, nor are they promotional for tourist parks as many people think", the biologist has criticized, "we put them there based on to a scientific study and data collection carried out for more than 10 years, if you see them slow down, because the lives of various species of wildlife depend on that and also that of the people who go in that vehicle ”.

Buil explained that they found that the jaguar was about to have a baby when they did the necropsy.

“Naku was crossing the road so that her puppy would be born on the coast side, she would spend at least three to four months on that side raising and feeding her puppy.

Unfortunately, she was run over and the 2 females died, ”she wrote in a Facebook post.

The president of the Alliance for the Conservation of the Jaguar explains that Naku's run over is very sad, but it is not surprising, since the construction of roads has led to a rupture of the forest and therefore a fragmentation of the habitat of the animals.

Jaguars usually divide their territory into large areas that are around, in the case of males, between 100 and 200 square kilometers;

when their area is interrupted by infrastructure, many of them must cross it to continue holding that territory.

“The passage of roads creates divided ecosystems and animals tend to cross their territories, even if they remain fragmented.

They cross because the males are moving, because they are looking for food or new territories, or because they were separated from the environment they used”, explains Ceballos.

This problem is not new.

Biologists have spent years studying where these animals cross and insisting on creating so-called wildlife crossings: safe areas for animal crossings.

These can be lower, that is, below the road, or elevated.

These steps are still insufficient, biologists warn.

In the section through which Naku crossed, there was a sign warning of the crossing of fauna, but Ceballos points out that these notices do "little" and advocates, until the crossing is created, to build some speed bumps.

“It is a very busy road that runs between pieces of jungle and hotels.

People drive very fast, which has made it a very dangerous barrier, because many jaguars pass by”, he reveals.

The jaguar is the emblematic species of America, where it is the largest predator and lives in 18 countries, from northern Mexico to Argentina.

It is also the most threatened carnivore in the region, mainly due to poaching and the loss of more than 40% of its habitat in the last 20 years.

Until the middle of the 20th century, its population was very abundant, but now it is in danger of extinction.

In Mexico there are an estimated 4,800 jaguars, most of them concentrated on the Mexican Pacific coast and in the southeast of the country.

The Yucatan peninsula is the region with the largest population;

Reserves such as Calakmul and other state reserves, the habitat of this animal, constitute the best preserved forest areas in the country.

"With more than one million hectares protected, in the last 10 or 15 years, the number of jaguars has increased thanks to conservation strategies implemented in collaboration with governments, organizations and landowners," said UNAM biologist Daniela Medellin to EL PAÍS.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-02-06

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