The report indicates that a research project focused on the carnivores, and in particular the jaguars, of Iguaçu began in October 2008. This study is based on the collection and collation of information from previous jaguar studies carried out in Iguazu National Park. The project also intends to evaluate the landscape within and around Iguaçu National Park in order to propose potential habitat improvement measures. During the course of 2009, the management team of Iguaçu National Park defined a number of research priorities, including research on endangered species and those species noted in IUCN’s 1986 evaluation report. The report notes that researchers investigating endangered species benefit from the support of the Iguaçu National Park management team, particularly as regards lodging, transport and guides.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome the carnivore research being undertaken in Iguaçu, as well as the identification of research priorities, but consider that a more detailed research and monitoring strategy for key species should be developed, and adequate funding secured for its implementation. They recall that the “Argentine Peninsula Bottleneck”, a stretch of privately owned land in Argentina that is a key biological corridor between the two properties, is threatened by agricultural development, and should be jointly monitored by both State Parties as its deforestation is increasingly limiting genetic flows between certain species’ populations which it is considered increases the vulnerability of jaguar populations to collapse, and resultant shifts in forest ecosystem dynamics.
Public use and development of alternative tourism activities
The report notes that the Iguaçu National Park team is undertaking a programme to identify and develop sustainable tourism potential in the areas surrounding the park, as recommended by the 2008 mission; however the report does not provide information on the timeline for finalising and implementing this programme. The objective of this programme is to develop tourism activities in surrounding municipalities in order to divert visitation away from the falls area. In one of these municipalities, the programme has developed a tourism circuit through which visitors can discover organic food production and participate in adventure activities. In this way, and taking into account the specificities of each municipality, the State Party hopes that tourism activities will create alternative livelihoods which may in turn alter the pattern of resource use in the areas surrounding the park. The programme also aims to disseminate information on tourism potential in surrounding municipalities to tourism operators based around Iguaçu Falls.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome the progress achieved by the State Party in developing alternative tourism activities in the municipalities surrounding the property, and note that if these are further developed they may contribute to reducing the unmanageable peaks in visitation currently experienced at Iguaçu Falls.
Developing a qualified ranger corps
The State Party reports that members of the Iguaçu National Park’s management team have proposed that a ranger corps training programme for the park be developed based on similar successful programmes in Argentina and the United States of America. The report recalls that decree n.6515 of 22 July 2008 instituted environmental security programmes in national parks. The State Party notes that these programmes have been complex to implement as they require the participation of the military police, which are not legally permitted to undertake environmental protection activities. The State Party concludes that it is therefore difficult to implement the 2008 mission recommendation to develop a qualified ranger corps that is specifically trained to address conservation issues. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that despite the acknowledged difficulties in training and deploying a qualified
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 60