The Hunting Report recently learned that illegal jaguar hunts in Peru are being marketed to international hunters. We warned E-mail Extra subscribers about this in early December when we received word from Thomas Saldias, of the Hunting Association of Peru and vice president of the SCI Central Peru Chapter. Saldias says that the association has received numerous inquiries from hunters regarding marketed jaguar hunts. Some have even reported that they were shown documents that seem to indicate the hunts were government sanctioned. In order to clear up any questions regarding the matter, Saldias forwarded to us a letter from Jorge Ugaz Gomez, general director of Forestry and Wildlife at the Ministry of Agriculture in Peru. Gomez writes:
“I have the pleasure of addressing you on behalf of the Peruvian Government to inform the international sport hunters’ community regarding some rumors about the issuance of official hunting licenses for jaguar (Panthera onca) hunting in the country:
“Peruvian laws protect the jaguar since 1999. This species is not considered in the current National Sport Hunting Calendar, therefore is not considered in our country as a game species. This means that neither sport hunting of jaguar nor the exports of its hunting trophies are legal at this time.
“Export permits for jaguar or any other specimens under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora-CITES, signed by Peru, will not be issued under any circumstances.
“The Peruvian government has not issued jaguar hunting or exporting permits, since at least 1999, to any national or foreign citizen. Any information claiming the opposite is false. The Government of Peru alerts the international sport hunters’ community not to be surprised by unscrupulous operators who want to take advantage of the interest generated by the country’s opening to sport hunting. On that regard, the Peruvian Government urges anyone who is told that jaguar hunting is legal to immediately inform the authorities about the fact and the source of such information. Any illegal activities conducted in the country, in relation to jaguar hunting or the attempts of exporting trophies of this species will be prosecuted by law.
Gomez can be reached at the Ministry of Agriculture in Lima, Peru, by telephone (+51-225-9005) or fax (+51-224-2864). For the record, jaguar is protected throughout its range in the Americas. Illegal hunting by residents may occur, but there is no CITES quota anywhere for this species, and the exportation of a jaguar is illegal. A word to the wise should be sufficient.