BELIZE CITY , BELIZE | FEBRUARY 07, 2019 - WCS shared a video today showing incredible footage of a jaguar swimming across Placencia Lagoon in southern Belize. The video, shot by Belizean boat captain Darryl Lozano, shows the jaguar effortlessly swimming across a channel until it reaches some red mangroves on a 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 (Panthera onca) is at home in streams, rivers, and lagoons. WCS has been involved in research, monitoring and conservation of jaguars across their range since the 1980s, from the southern United States to Central Argentina,. 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. In addition, sustainable natural resource management and associated livelihoods were found to have a positive effect.