Date: October 4, 2016
Source: Wildlife Conservation Society
Hunting, deforestation, and cattle ranching in Mesoamerica have become a triad of trouble for the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), an ecologically important species now threatened with regional extinction, according WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and a group of experts at a recently held meeting in Belize.
WCS recently hosted a symposium at the 20th Mesoamerican Society for Conservation Biology Congress, which brought together leading scientists for an emergency assessment of the rapidly declining white-lipped peccary in Mesoamerica. The objectives of the Symposium were to document the current status of this pig-like species, to map recent reductions in its range across Mesoamerica, and to propose conservation actions to protect the species.
Hunting and deforestation for agriculture and cattle ranching have driven precipitous declines of the white-lipped peccary in most Mesoamerican countries. As the only large mammal that moves in large herds in forested environments, this species represents one of Central America's true wildlife spectacles, and plays a key role in ecosystem function of the region's forests. Peccary herds can number up to 200 individuals and range as widely as 120 square kilometers (more than 46 square miles).