The Role of Jaguars
I always write about Jaguars having a role, here you can see, from many angles, the roles Jaguars have. There most important role Jaguar have is related to the interaction with their prey. Jaguars regulates the amount and behavior of other animals. Without the presence of Jaguars other species can grow without any balance. To make matters worse, if those animals are relaxed due to the lack of predators they tend to have an uncontrolled behavior and that leads to environmental deterioration.
The effect chain was studied in Yellowstone with the Fox Reintroduction. Some people doesn’t trust that study others do. The bottom line is that animals ruining trees provokes that birds go to other places, then spreading seeds get complicated. Even the soil is affected by unhealthy trees, if trees have solid roots, then the soil gets solid and thus they can contribute to keep rivers under control too, that point is relevant because floods could be less harmful.
Besides the exact results of the study could be still considered under discussion the important thing to notice here is that there is a concrete effect on the ecosystem. Now, the thing gets more interesting if you consider that everything has an impact on everything, don’t forget that what happens in Africa will reach here, the same is true for the Amazon. We are living in complex times due to ecosystem degradation.
Jaguars are also important for biologists and conservationist because they are considered an umbrella species and also an indicator of how good the ecosystem is. Jaguars require large territories to live plus the abundance of other animals and they are susceptible to ecosystem degradation, they presence or absence is an indication of how good the ecosystem is.
Jaguars being an umbrella species means that if we protect their natural prey from hunting we are protecting the Jaguars and on the other end, if we protect Jaguars we are protecting all the other species that lives in their ecosystem.
Here in Argentina we are about to see the effect of Jaguar reintroduction and the effects that they have on the ecosystem. However, there is no need to wait and see. Something amazing is happening in Argentina, the Jaguar reintroduction effort is changing minds and it is encouraging collaboration between many parties, that is not frequently seen here.
From other perspectives, Jaguars are important too in the context of tourism and cultural identification with these extraordinary animals. They are important in many regards and to protect them is something we have to do to protect ourselves. I hope all the active initiatives will provide a more healthy natural world for us and for them.