By LUCY BAYER, Associated Press wildlife hunters are targeting some of the world’s most remote areas of the Amazon forest and hunting for the elusive megafauna that are the lifeblood of this wildlife-rich ecosystem.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that its agents had killed more than 4,000 megafaunal species in Mexico since 2000, including the giant ground sloths, which live in the dense forests of the northern Andes.
The agency said it had killed nearly 1,000 smaller species.
It said the most common species killed in Mexico was the big cats, but it could not specify which species.
Mexico’s National Institute of Natural Resources (INN) said it did not provide a figure of the number of megafalons it killed, and in a statement it said that while the country has a strict quota system for the size of the animals it kills, “it is unclear if these numbers include megafundes and are therefore not fully accurate.”
Mexico’s National Commission for the Conservation of the Anthropocene, a group that studies the impact of human activity on the planet, said it would work with federal and international officials to “ensure that the population numbers and numbers of megacrysts are properly monitored.”
The commission, based in Mexico City, said the megafarms are “large enough and large enough to endanger their ecosystems, and their habitats.”