Rare Footage Shows Jaguar Swimming Through Lagoon

February 7, 2019

This video, shot by Belizean boat captain Darryl Lozano, shows an incredibly rare sight: a jaguar effortlessly swimming across a channel until it reaches some red mangroves on the shoreline. WCS recognizes the Placencia Lagoon as an important fish nursery, with rare Halophila seagrass and a mangrove forest surrounding a critical Antillean manatee hotspot. WCS is supporting local efforts to get this lagoon under formal protected and managed status to preserve this unique system from unsustainable development, and to promote ecologically-friendly fishing and tourism activities.

Cats are not always known for their swimming ability but the highly adaptable and agile jaguar is at home in streams, rivers, and lagoons. WCS has been involved in research, monitoring and conservation of jaguars across their range, from the southern United States to central Argentina, since the 1980s. Long-term monitoring and repeated measures of trends have indicated that, while jaguars have been lost from 61 percent of their historic (pre-1900) range, populations are stable and even increasing in well-managed protected areas. A review conducted by WCS in 2017 found strong correlations between protected areas and healthy jaguar populations. In addition, sustainable natural resource management and associated livelihoods were found to have a positive effect.

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