Much of Mexico remains wild and teeming with biodiversity! This is great news for us who understand how all life on earth ultimately relies on the continued maintenance of the fragile balance of our natural systems.
In our local forests, the animal best poised to help maintain this balance is the jaguar. As apex predators, jaguars exert the greatest influence over the entire food chain, with implications over the vegetative composition of our forests and even the courses of rivers.
As covered in John Warren’s article, “Jaguars of Jalisco” in this week’s edition of the Vallarta Tribune, these animals are not only essential to our forests, but to Mexican culture, especially as celebrated by indigenous peoples. During El Mes del Jaguar (Jaguar Month), everyone in Jaguar territory from Mexico to Argentina and even those beyond these lands are encouraged to celebrate this big cat and to learn about what’s needed to protect it in our rapidly changing world.
If you keep your eyes peeled this month as you’re out and about in Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding region, you’ll see plenty of artwork and artisanía (handicrafts) prominently featuring jaguar motifs. As you journey into our local forests, allow your mind to wander a little and imagine how these majestic cats roam, hunt, nourish their young, and otherwise thrive in our wild areas.
Remember, just because you don’t see a jaguar the next time you wander through the forest, doesn’t mean a jaguar didn’t see you!