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Save the jaguar.

A forest preserve of 170 square miles in Belize has been closed to hunting and farming and opened to jaguar preservation. Forty to 50 jaguars now roam the preserve, which is naturally one of the larges jaguar ranges in Central America.

The jaguar is the biggest spotted cat in the world and the third largest of all felines. An adult can weigh 300 pounds. These animals require a large jungle territory to catch adequate prey, but the natural jaguar ranges are rapidly dwindling, primarily becase of clearcut farming. The reserve, to be called the Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve, was established through the cooperation of Wildlife Conservation International (a division of the New York Zoological Society), the Belize government and the Belize Audubon Society. The Cockscombe Basin includes a major watershed, so preservation of the rain forest there is important for preventing erosion and floods, whose damage could even extend, by silting, to offshore coral reefs.
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Title Annotation:forest preserve in Belize
Publication:Science News
Date:Mar 23, 1985
Words:155
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