Operation Jaguar - South America
to protect jaguars in Bolivia, Suriname and Guyana, we are helping to fight the growing threat of illegal wildlife trade
We train law enforcement agencies to detect and prosecute wildlife crime.
Jaguars are the largest felines in the Americas. Although they are a protected species, in countries such as Bolivia, Suriname, Peru and Guyana, we have seen increasing incidents of jaguars being poached for their skin, fangs, and other body parts. These are then primarily used to make jewellery, ornaments and traditional "medicinal" paste.
Seizure data shows a significant rise in jaguar trafficking since 2012, and we are starting to see that jaguar body parts and products are being sold more openly—particularly on online platforms.
Additionally, overseas and domestic investors in many South American countries have set up huge projects for agriculture, mining, highway construction, and other infrastructure. This has given poachers easier access to previously isolated jaguar habitats.
Operation Jaguar is a joint project of a consortium led by IUCN NL, IFAW and Earth League International and is made possible by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. We want to put an end to poaching and the illegal trade in jaguar parts, so that this apex predator can continue to fulfil its vital role in the ecosystem. To achieve this, we are working on the following interventions:
- Collecting and analysing information
- Improving protection of jaguar habitats
- Professionalising law enforcement systems
- Mobilising the public and politicians
At IFAW, our focus is on reinforcing the various branches of law enforcement in Bolivia, Suriname and Guyana. We train rangers in collecting and documenting valid evidence, law enforcement agencies in detecting wildlife crime, and the courts in formulating indictments and building solid cases. This way, we can make sure wildlife criminals are brought to justice to further prevent the poaching of the most iconic species of the Americas.