Blog Editorial

The giant anteater: a vulnerable species protected by REDD+

The Gran Chaco is South America’s second-largest native forest area and is home to vulnerable wildlife and a threatened ecosystem.

Our REDD+ project helps to ensure the forest and its inhabitants are protected and able to thrive for generations to come.

The forest of the Chaco is one of the richest in the world in terms of biodiversity, and is home to endemic, vulnerable and endangered animals species, who heavily rely on the forest for their existence.

Among these species is the Giant Anteater (or Jurumí) a unique creature that is native to Paraguay and lives mainly in the Chaco regions of Alto Paraguay, Boquerón and Presidente Hayes and in the Eastern Region in the Departments of Concepción, Canindeyú and Caazapá.

The importance of the giant anteater

The Jurumí is a remarkable mammal, identified by its huge claws and distinctive long nose which is used to break into termite mounds. The Jurumí’s diet consists entirely of ants and termites, which inflict painful bites on the Anteaters tongue so that it can only feed for a short while before the pain becomes unbearable and it must move on to the next colony. This process ensures that a single Anteater does not wipe out entire termite colonies, and is a core tenet of sustainable harvesting.

The Jurumi have inhabited the region for millennia, somewhere between 60 to 100 million years. It’s likely that they lived side by side with the last dinosaurs in what is now the continent of South America.

The ecosystem of the Gran Chaco is a delicate balance and the Jurumí is an important part of this ecosystem. If the anteater did not regulate the population of ants and termites, they could overwhelm the plant diversity of Paraguayan Chaco.

“Giant anteaters are solitary creatures, except during the mating season. Most of their activity takes place during the early hours or in the morning, or on cold, cloudy days and during rain, when temperatures are lower. As a territorial creature their territory is generally between 9 and 25 km2. The Jurumí is facing an existential threat, with one of the biggest dangers facing the species being land use change.”

Explains Yolanda Ramos, Biologist at Quadriz

The giant anteater at risk of extinction

A recent 2022 Global Risk Report by the World Economic Forum has identified biodiversity loss as the third most severe risk to our planet, right after climate breakdown and extreme weather.

The giant anteater is at risk of extinction and is listed as vulnerable, according to the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The threat to the survival of is severe. Many species in the Chaco have been declares extinct in recent decades, and in other regions such as  Central America, the Jurumí is already the most threatened mammal.

Habitat loss due to deforestation, degradation and human interference is a very significant threat to the giant anteater populations. Ever more frequent forest fires mean that where this species inhabits grasslands, it is particularly exposed to fire. 

Land use change, such as the conversion of forest for cattle farming in the Chaco, causes the death of a significant number of giant anteaters due to the severe burns suffered by the animals. 

Similarly the Jurumí are occasionally hunted and eaten as a source of protein. In some parts of their territory they are even vulnerable to being poached and kept as pets or sold in an illegal wildlife trade. Fire, destruction and fragmentation of its natural habitat are pushing the species to the brink and they are now endangered. Being slow and myopic, they are also frequent victims of road accidents mainly on the road that cuts through their habitat, the National Route PY09, Trans Chaco.

Conservation through high-quality carbon offsets

Through Quadriz’ REDD+ carbon offsetting projects, the Jurumí and its habitat is being protected, by unlocking the carbon value and biodiversity value of the region. As part of the Corazón Verde del Chaco Project in Paraguay, a biodiversity monitoring plan is in place that captures monthly data and images of the animals using state of the art camera traps.

“We collect images from the cameras once a month, and through our collaboration with FACEN at the University of Asunción we process and analyse the data to monitor the diversity, richness and number of species in the area, as well as the relative abundance and species accumulation curve in each different habitat from forest to savannah.”

Yolanda Ramos said.

Quadriz’ carbon projects provide a safe haven for the species, enabling the protection and conservation of the Jurumí and other species in the Paraguayan Gran Chaco. The high-impact carbon project  initially conserves 32,000 hectares (79,000 acres) of critical Chaco forest and is designed to meet two leading carbon standards known as the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS).

By investing in Quadriz’ high-quality carbon offsets, companies can simultaneously preserve endangered species and a wide range of ecosystem services, and provide an economic alternative to the current land uses of the local communities. In doing this, companies can contribute to mitigating the release of several million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over the first 10 years of the Project.

Sales Enquiries, Contact: 

Christian Nielsen, 
Tel: +31 263 723 071
Mob: +34 619 12 9001

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