Can the Jaguar, King of the Forest, Save an Entire Ecosystem? – Atlas Obscura

At last, Ceballos speaks. “When the train was first announced…I told government officials that if they touched the biosphere, they’d have to deal with me.” As he and his colleagues learned more about the project, and its inevitability, he says, “instead of throwing our hands in the air and calling it an ecocide, we decided to get involved.” Ceballos and his team began modeling the potential ecological impact, and petitioned the government to incorporate wildlife crossings into the plans, to allow animals safe passage between both parts of the reserve. Campos Hernandez notes that the Maya Train project will destroy less forest than illegal loggers do each year. He and Ceballos are now hopeful that the project may actually encourage environmentally sustainable development. “Having the military and the government on our side means we can protect the biosphere from illegal logging and potentially expand the reserve,” says Ceballos. He also believes it could give locals an alternative to illegal logging and hunting. He finishes his tequila, and talk of the Maya Train. “And now, I highly suggest everyone gets some sleep, because we’ve got a four a.m. wake-up call,” he says.

Source: Can the Jaguar, King of the Forest, Save an Entire Ecosystem? – Atlas Obscura