Good News from Mexico. The jaguar population there increased by about 800 animals from 2010 to 2018. This is according to the latest census. The news confirms that Mexico’s national strategy to protect jaguars is working.
The jaguar (Panthera onca) ranges from northern Mexico through Central America, the Amazon Basin, and northern Argentina. Before 2010 ecologists had never properly counted jaguars in Mexico, making it challenging to design a conservation program in the iconic cat’s northernmost ranges. An alliance created by Gerardo Ceballos of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and founder of Mexico’s National Alliance for Jaguar Conservation used the results of the first Mexican jaguar census in 2010 to create a national strategy endorsed by government policy and scientists alike. The latest count is most encouraging for the cat and we humans.
“It was incredible to see jaguars in so many places where there weren’t any before,” said Ceballos. Good news indeed.
Our next good news story is about the marriage of farming with renewable sources.
Planting crops under solar panel arrays called Agrivoltaics, the plants grow better and need less watering, while the panels produce more electricity. Our good news comes from Jack’s Solar Garden in Boulder, Colorado. There the owner Byron Kominek has successfully planted crops under about 3200 solar panels. In doing so, he can generate enough power to serve 300 homes. In addition, the plants do better since the panels shield the crops from damaging sun, rain, and hail. Also, the shade reduces the need for water by 150%.
It is estimated that if one million acres of US farmland were covered with solar panels and crops planted below, there would be enough power generated to meet the country’s renewable energy goals. Wouldn’t that be something?
Today’s JohnKu talks about signs that nature is responding to conservation efforts. I hope you have a great weekend.
Nature by John W. Howell © 2010
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