Study links jaguar trafficking in Central and South America to Chinese investments in the region - Afrique Environnement Plus

A study released on 2 June 2020 by the journal Conservation Biology has revealed a correlation between increased Chinese investments in Central and South America and a surge in jaguar smuggling to China.

 

Is jaguar trafficking in Central and South America partly tied to Chinese investments in the continent? At least, that is what a study published by Conservation Biology on 2 June 2020 seems to suggest.

 

The study entitled “The link between wild cat trafficking and Chinese development efforts in Central and South America” claims that more than 800 jaguars were killed between 2012 and 2018 in the region for the sole purpose of supplying the Chinese markets.

 

This is an alarming situation according to the lead author of the study, Thais Morcatty, who shared his views in National Geographic magazine. A doctoral student in anthropology at Oxford Brookes University, England, he investigated the factors behind this link.

 

Jaguar teeth are in high demand

 

The authors gathered data from more than 1000 big cats (jaguar, puma and ocelot) that were seized between 2012 and 2018 in 19 Central and South American countries as well as in China.

 

It emerged from the data that countries involved in this illegal trade have high levels of corruption and low per capita income. But these States share another characteristic: high levels of Chinese investment. Chinese investments in Central and South America have risen ten-fold in the last decade, the study says. The investments are very good for the continent as they stimulate business and economic development but the downside is their correlation to a surge in jaguar trafficking. These countries have seen “10 to 50 times more jaguar seizures than other countries in the sample” the study underscores. They include Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, Peru and Suriname.

 

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