Farmers Urge Return of Jaguars to Protect Crops (Scientific American & Mongabay)

Posted on by Brendan Borrell

The big cats could return to do the job they once did in Brazil's grassland—hunt a growing population of wild pig relatives, called peccaries, that decimates crop yields

Margie Peixoto was driving her pickup across her farm in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul one February afternoon when she spotted some broken corn stalks and a trio of white-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari) ambling along the red-clay road as if they owned it. The moment these wild pig relatives spotted the truck, they snorted, snarled and disappeared into the head-high crop, where dozens more likely hid. 

“Every year the group gets bigger and bigger, and every year the damage to the crop is greater,” said Peixoto, a fit middle-aged woman from Zimbabwe, who met her Brazilian husband while traveling in Africa, and immigrated here to farm more than 30 years ago. 

Read the rest at Scientific American or Mongabay

This is the first story from my trip to Brazil, which was supported by the Mongabay Special Reporting Inititative