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Photos | The Jaguar Ecological Preserve | Ecotourism & Biodiversity Preservation
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Explore the FCFBrazil's Pantanal is the world's largest wetland. It is also the easiest place in the Neotropics to see a variety of mammals and rare birds. Jaguar are seen several times each year, along with ocelot and five other cats, Brazilian tapir, marsh and three other deer species, four primate species, giant river and South American otters, hyacinth and four other macaws, and the largest concentration of a member of the alligator family in the world. The northern Pantanal enjoys a brisk tourist trade that appears to be growing.

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A number of endangered species are doing well. Jaguars and Hyacinth Macaws are making a comeback due to the control of the illegal skin and wild bird trades. Still, vast areas are about to change hands. The poor Pantaneiro landowners are rapidly being forced to sell their land due to debt or old age. Our research shows that the majority of them want to preserve their land and continue living their traditional non-invasive lifestyles. They want to keep their land to have something to give to their children.

With the assistance of Black Diamond Paving in San Jose, California, the Focus Conservation Fund has been able to pay one Pantaneiro family to preserve their land. The Jaguar Ecological Reserve is currently a 230-acre federally registered, privately held reserve. The land still belongs to the traditional owners, while being preserved. This has caught the attention of 12 other landowners, with holding of 1.729 million acres. Each is interested in receiving money for adding their land to the Jaguar Ecological Reserve.

We have negotiated a price of US$15 per acre. With this small sum and your assistance, we have the potential to preserve a huge area of the world's largest wetland, with vast tropical rainforests. We fully expect to attract other landowners as well. Some vast holdings may be able to be converted at an even more attractive rate, if the money is raised to do a vast region in one transaction.

The other problem the Pantaneiros face is the loss of culture. Children currently leave the Pantanal to attend school, and few return to lead the traditional lifestyle. Conservation holds the key to saving this culture.

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