Jaguar returning to Arizona

Jaguar, Pantera onca arizonensis

Jaguar, Pantera onca arizonensis

These beautiful big cats are being found in the mountains between Arizona,  New Mexico and Mexico. The borderland fence may cause problems to the cats northern migration.Farmers and ranchers shooting them is not helping the numbers grow either.

“The jaguar is the largest cat native to the Western Hemisphere. It has yellowish-brown fur with dark rosette markings. The lower region of the tail is ringed in black and the tips of the ears have black edges. Jaguars are powerfully built, with large heads and strong limbs. The weight of an adult male averages around 120-200 pounds. On the U.S. and Mexico borderlands, javelina and deer are the jaguar’s main food source”, but an ocassional goat, sheep or cow finds its way into its diet.

In Arizona and New Mexico, a state-led Jaguar Conservation Team (JAGCT or Team) is working to protect and conserve an animal that most people probably do not even know is native to the United States. Created in 1997, the JAGCT is a voluntary partnership among state, federal, and local government agencies, private individuals, and other entities with an interest in jaguar conservation. The efforts of the Team and its colleagues in Mexico are helping to create a promising future for the jaguar in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

‘JAGCT activities include: compiling scientific literature and occurrence information; developing a handling and kill-verification protocol; creating an education curriculum; monitoring jaguar presence through a Borderlands Detection Project; and developing procedures for the Malpai Borderlands Group to use in voluntarily compensating livestock owners for documented losses to depredating jaguars (no depredations have been documented as of January 2007). The JAGCT has also assessed the effects on jaguars of several predator control methods, and formed various committees to deal with other issues related to jaguar conservation’

When you click on the link below, you will find a coloring page on the jaguar for anyone who wants to make the jaguar their own.

http://www.pima.gov/CMO/SDCP/kids/color/jaguar.html

Jaguar photo information from http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/es/jaguar_management.shtml

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