El Jaguar Reserve: A New Refuge for Isolated Jaguars

Project Cost: $165,577

Funding Raised: $165,578

$40 per acre (1 acre = 43,560 sq ft)
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Together, with generous support from our donors, this project has been protected!

An isolated population of Jaguars faces an existential threat in the northwest Amazon Basin. Rainforest Trust is working to protect them while time remains.

Expanding oil palm plantations, logging, and hunting all pose growing challenges to the remarkable assortment of Amazonian wildlife found in Central Colombia. To confront these challenges, Rainforest Trust is working with Colombian partner ProAves to strategically purchase 4,164 acres that be used to create the El Jaguar Nature Reserve.

Among the proposed reserve’s many mammal species, its Jaguars rank as some of the most threatened due to hunting and habitat fragmentation. Once established, this important reserve will protect a core population of Jaguars and provide them with renewed opportunities to rebound and reclaim territory.

This project is part of Rainforest Trust’s Million Acre Jaguar Initiative.

Fast Facts

Meta Department, Central Colombia

Key Species
Jaguar (VU), Amazon River Dolphin (DD), Lowland Tapir (VU), Brown Woolly Monkey (VU)

Lowland tropical rainforest

Logging, oil palm plantations, ranching

Buy and protect 4,164 acres to establish the El Jaguar Nature Reserve

Local Partner

Financial Need

Price Per Acre


Identified as a conservation priority due to its extraordinary levels of wildlife density and threatened species, the proposed El Jaguar Nature Reserve is home to an impressive array of wildlife.

Its lakes, rivers and marshes provide habitat for Amazon River Dolphins and Giant River Otters, while its forests are home to Giant Anteaters, Capybaras, South American Tapirs, Brown Woolly Monkeys, and Jaguars. The skies and waterways of the reserve also offer refuge for more than 300 bird species. These include the Rose-breasted Chat, Velvet-fronted Grackle, Dot-backed Antbird, Brown Nunlet, Crestless Curassow, Black Curassow, Horned Screamer and the Blue-throated Piping Guan.


Habitat destruction and hunting activities in Central Colombia have combined to create a situation that poses growing challenges for local wildlife.

Palm Oil: Creation of oil palm plantations contributes toward large-scale habitat destruction and fragmentation. Over 11,000 acres of forest surrounding the proposed El Jaguar Reserve have been converted into oil palm plantations. Logging: Logging remains a constant threat to wildlife in Central Colombia. The destruction of forests to make way for agriculture and ranching plays a principle role in isolating vulnerable wildlife populations. Hunting: Wildlife populations in Central Colombia are being decimated by widespread hunting. Some of the most prized species are the South American Tapir and the Jaguar. In the 1960s, hunting caused a severe decline in Colombia’s Jaguar population when more than 15,000 pelts were taken from the Colombian Amazon.


Originally colonized in the 1950s and ‘60s, local communities in the Meta Department have grown steadily in subsequent decades. Subject to on-going violence during Colombia’s civil war in the 1980s and ‘90s, the situation has since improved and stability has returned. With this change, however, economic growth and environmental damage have both increased.

Our partner ProAves is actively engaging nearby communities to increase local support and improve long-term sustainability of the proposed El Jaguar Nature Reserve. ProAves staff have already introduced environmental and biological teaching components in more than a dozen schools.


The rapid loss of tropical forests in Central Colombia has made the strategic creation and expansion of protected areas a priority.

By purchasing 4,164 acres of tropical forest which will help establish the El Jaguar Nature Reserve, Rainforest Trust is providing Jaguars and other rare species with the space they need to survive. Once purchased, the newly establish nature reserve will fall under the watch of ProAves’ park guards who will monitor the site both remotely and on regular patrols.