Working with Conservation Land Trust (CLT), this two year project will restore a critical ecosystem in northeastern Argentina — the 3.2 million acre Iberá wetlands — reintroducing jaguars and other mammals and birds that have been extinct locally for many years.
Iberá, one of the largest freshwater wetland systems in the Americas, supports teeming populations of birds, mammals, and reptiles. However, many keystone species, including giant anteaters, pampas deer, jaguars, peccaries, tapirs and macaws were eliminated from the area in the 20th century as a result of hunting and habitat loss. Over the last 15 years, Conservation Land Trust has expanded the 3.2 million acre “Iberá Nature Reserve” by purchasing 370,000 additional acres of private conservation lands.
More recently, CLT launched the largest Rewilding Program in the Americas to reintroduce species to Iberá and restore ecosystem function. The highest goal of the Ibera Rewilding Program is the reintroduction of the critically endangered jaguar. As a top-level predator, the jaguar plays a key ecological role. This area will never function effectively as a wetland ecosystem without healthy jaguar populations.
LDF is supporting CLT’s carefully developed plan led by world experts to breed and release wild jaguars into the Ibera landscape. In addition, CLT will create a large national park that will more permanently protect habitat that is critical to the success of bringing these species back to their homelands.