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Mexico jaguar population grows 20% in eight years

AFP  |  Mexico City 

Mexico's population of wild jaguars has grown 20 percent in the past eight years, according to a study, a bit of good for an iconic whose numbers have been declining.

There are an estimated 4,800 jaguars in Mexico, found the study released yesterday, carried out by a consortium of institutions and academics with remotely activated cameras triggered by sensors.

That was a 20-per cent increase from the first edition of the study, carried out in 2010.

"The presence of jaguars ensures that these ecosystems function, by controlling the population of herbivores, and is also an indicator of the ecosystems' good health," said Heliot Zarza, of the National Conservation Alliance, in a statement released by the

The jaguar, the largest feline in the Americas, can weigh up to 100 kilos (220 pounds), though the ones found in rarely weigh more than 60 kilos.

The yellow, black-spotted cats are found in 18 countries across the Americas, 90 percent of them in the Amazon rainforest.

There are some 64,000 jaguars in the wild, a number that has been shrinking, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which has declared the animal a "near threatened"

In Mexico, however, a conservation program launched in 2005 and overseen by Mexico's national parks service has bolstered the jaguar's population growth, said the on the study, of the at the National Autonomous University of

The also got a boost on March 1 when 14 Latin American countries signed an agreement at the on implementing a regional conservation program for the big cats through 2030.

Researchers from 16 institutions and 25 academic groups carried out the study across 10 Mexican states, using a total of 396 cameras.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, June 15 2018. 06:10 IST
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