WCS Nicaragua

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Recent Publications

Rapid Decline of White-lipped Peccary Populations in Mesoamerica: Report based on the 1st Symposium on white-lipped peccary in Mesoamerica August 25, 2016, Belize City, Belize
The white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) is a social ungulate that forms groups of 10 to 300 individuals and ranges over extensive areas in well-preserved Neotropical forests. White-lipped peccaries are particularly sensitive to forest fragmentation and hunting pressure, and frequently are the first large mammal species to disappear when humans colonize an area. For these reasons, they have become the most endangered ungulate species in Mesoamerica and are currently listed as Vulnerable on the global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In order to draw attention to reported widespread declines across the region, a group of academics and conservationist held a symposium to assess the current population status of white-lipped peccaries and identify the main threats to the species across Mesoamerica. Experts from the 7 countries of Mesoamerica where white-lipped peccaries remain discussed the status, threats and priority conservation actions for each country. Results indicate that the species has been eliminated from 87% of its historical range, and is in critical condition in all 7 countries, with stable and large populations only remaining in the tri-national Maya Forest (Guatemala, México and Belize), and in El Darien in Panama. All other populations are either significantly smaller or highly threatened and becoming isolated at an alarming pace. Based upon this expansive review conducted by experts working across the region, we suspect that white-lipped peccaries should potentially be considered endangered in Mesoamerica and we recommend that urgent action is taken to conserve the species and their forest habitat.

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