A new reserve for jaguars and tigers will be coming to Mexico’s Riviera Maya,following approval last week by the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat). The project will be part of an ongoing effort to bring rescued tigers and jaguars into the Riviera Maya region,which is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
“According to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS),the project will take on an ecotourism approach as a wild sanctuary with the animals being on exhibition to national and international visitors,” writes the Riviera Maya News.
The new reserve is reportedly owned by Reserve Bengal SA de CV and will be called Reserve Bengal Felina,with plans to start with 18 jaguars and tigers,which are both of large ecological significance. It will encompass more than 26,900 square meters and will be located at kilometer 19 on the road leading from Puerto Morelos to the community of Leona Vicario.
There will be a fee for visitors to enter the reserve,which will have the animals available for viewing in a controlled recreation of their natural habitat. The reserve will also focus on implementing a variety of educational discussions and workshops about the extinction of the species,as well as its connection to global warming,population status and its effects on the natural food chain.
According to Jose Luis Izaguirre Funez,state delegate of Semarnat for Quintana Roo,the project received approval because the owners of the reserve have clearly demonstrated a commitment to rescuing and preserving these two species of large cat,which are listed in the Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM)-059. This extensive list includes a series of official,compulsory standards and regulations for a diverse array of activities in Mexico,including the environmental impacts they are purported to have.
“The development of the reserve will be headed by the Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS),an American organization established in South Carolina that is dedicated to promoting global conservation,” reported Riviera Maya News.
Upon opening,the reserve will also join the Rare Species Fund (RSF),which is an organization that is committed to supporting a variety of international conservation programs concerning terrestrial wildlife.
According to the report,Reserve Bengal Felina will be fully operational by late 2016 or early 2017.
The Riviera Maya stretches 80 miles south from Cancun along Mexico’s only Caribbean coast. Here,visitors can explore lush jungles,pristine white-sand beaches and some of the world’s most breathtaking ancient Mayan ruins. The entire region also boasts modern infrastructure,world-class dining and shopping,rich cultural traditions and is home to the world’s second largest barrier reef,which lies just offshore in the Caribbean Sea. Popular destinations in Mexico’s Riviera Maya include Puerto Morelos,Playa del Carmen,Puerto Aventuras,Cozumel and Tulum.