Artificial drinkers help wildlife—and people
The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, spanning 1.8 million acres of Mesoamerica’s Maya forest, is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the second-largest jaguar population on the continent. As water sources in this region have dried up, animals have entered communities in search of a drink. Some raided and destroyed honey producer’s artificial drinkers and ended up needing the care of veterinarians or a transfer to a zoo. Additionally, such behavior can lead to conflict between humans and wildlife—sometimes with deadly results.
Artificial water sources in the right places could prevent wildlife from entering communities, protecting both animals and people and their livelihoods.
Protecting one animal to help many more
Though WWF is monitoring the tapir for use of artificial water sources, we’re expecting many other species to benefit. The tapir, endangered itself, is important prey for the jaguar, a big cat on the brink. The survival of the jaguar depends, in part, on the survival of the tapir and other prey. Artificial water sources will, directly and indirectly, protect both magnificent animals.
The tapir is also crucial for seed dispersal in the region, helping to regenerate forests. And healthy forests remain an invaluable tool in the fight against the climate crisis.
“Through the Wildlife Adaptation Innovation Fund we are piloting innovative ideas like this with a view to replicating and scaling the most successful interventions, to help wildlife adapt to a changing world,” Advani said.