Engaging smallholder farmers to protect jaguar habitats
0 ha

under restoration


trees growing


species regenerating


families benefiting


threatened mammal species

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The state of Misiones, Argentina, contains the largest remaining tract of Interior Atlantic Forest. It is home to one of the largest remaining sub-populations of jaguars, with around 90 individuals currently. However, around 50% of the native forest is unprotected and located in a mosaic of plantations and pasturelands.

Our restoration here will transform the current agricultural model while connecting the Yabotí Biosphere Reserve with the Piñalito and Cruce Caballero Provincial Parks by engaging 49 small-holder farmers to restore farmland into forest patches.

Why and how we’re working here

The Atlantic Forest is one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. In the last 20 years alone it has lost more than 80% of its original forest cover, mainly due to agricultural expansion. It may soon be the first tropical biome to lose its largest top predator: jaguars.

From 2001 to 2021 the Upper Parana region lost 29,800 ha of tree cover, equivalent to an almost 10% decrease in tree cover since 2000, mainly due to agricultural expansion. The smallholder farmers here carry out subsistence agriculture, and have difficulties accessing water.

Our project with Fundacion Vida Silvestre will support 49 farmers to produce yerba mate in a new, more sustainable way in agroforestry plots of 1 hectare each. Improved water access will be provided to increase productivity, boosting incomes and reducing pressure on the forest.

Alongside this, we’ll restore 141 hectares of forest through conservation and Assisted Natural Regeneration.

By transforming the current agricultural model and connecting large patches of the Atlantic Forest the project will ensure sustainable livelihoods for farmers while creating space for the free movement of the near-threatened jaguar.


Cruce Caballero, Misiones, Upper Parana, Argentina

Restoration approaches

Enrichment and full planting; agroforestry (agrisilvicultural systems)

restoration partners

Fundacion Vida Silvestre; WWF Netherlands

Threatened species

Panthera onca (jaguar);
Myrmecophaga tridactyla (giant anteater)


49 smallholder farmers

The project’s impact on people

This project will demonstrate that it is possible to engage smallholder farmers in restoring and protecting the forest. With well-irrigated agroforestry plots, farmers will enjoy improved incomes by producing yerba mate in a new, more sustainable way, while enabling connectivity between protected areas and enhancing movement for species such as the jaguar.

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Who’s funding the Misiones project?

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