The jaguar is a sacred totem in many Amazonian cultures, the spirit protector of the rainforest and guide to the most highly regarded shamans. The Sacred Headwaters region of the Amazon, an 86-million-acre swath spanning Ecuador and Peru that contains the hydrological heart of the world’s most vital ecosystem, harbors some of the largest populations of jaguars anywhere in the Americas. These include the mythical-seeming black jaguar, whose rare and captivating genetic variant is thought to affect roughly a tenth of the population.
The longevity of jaguars and of all rainforest biodiversity depends upon protecting their habitat from deforestation. The Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative could become one of the largest sanctuaries for jaguars on the planet. Formed through a shared vision among indigenous peoples, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and governments, the organization is working to establish a protected region that is off-limits to industrial resource extraction and governed according to the traditional indigenous principles of cooperation and harmony.
We are proud to partner with ASHI to support their sweeping and indigenous-led vision for the preservation of the Amazon, with implications for no less than the survival of all life on our planet.
- While the black jaguar appears to be all black, it has spots like other jaguars called “rosettes.”
- Jaguars are at home in the dark, with their excellent night vision, which is why they are often associated with fearlessness and intuition.
- Jaguars now occupy less than half of their historical range. They’re so elusive that we don’t know exactly how many are left in the wild.