Where Jaguars Are Killed, New Common Factor Emerges: Chinese Investment

“Poaching of the big cats is on the rise, and a new study links their slaughter to corruption as well as investment from Chinese companies.”

“In May 2019, a headless jaguar carcass turned up at a garbage dump in southern Belize. The killing, one in a series of similar incidents, added to local outrage and inspired authorities, private citizens and companies to offer a combined $8,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the jaguar killer.

More than just a national issue, the graphic killing in Belize seemed indicative of a rise in jaguar poaching across the species’ range, from Mexico to Argentina.

“I suspect for a long time it went unnoticed as authorities simply were not paying attention,” said Pauline Verheij, an independent wildlife crime specialist who has investigated the jaguar trade in Suriname and Bolivia in recent years. “Tackling wildlife crime in most if not all Latin American countries has had zero priority until only very recently.””

Rachel Nuwer reports for the New York Times June 11, 2020.