Jaguars in the United States are extremely rare today but historically they have roamed throughout the southern portions of the nation. Although they have been rarely been spotted in the US over the past century, there have been recent sightings indicating that jaguars might be moving back. Biophilia Foundation is working with groups in southeastern Arizona to help ensure jaguars will have migration corridors and habitat north of the border.
Jaguars Historic Range in the United States:
Prior to colonization, jaguar territory stretched from California to Texas. Some reports have the last known jaguar in California being killed on Mt. San Jacinto in the 1860’s. The 1905 “Biological Survey of Texas” cited at least ten specimens that had been collected throughout the southern half of the state during the last half of the 19th century. Some speculate that jaguars may have even populated the Carolinas in the early 1700’s.
Regrettably, jaguars were almost completely extirpated from the United States for the much of the 20th century. The last known female jaguar in the US was killed in the White Mountains of Arizona in 1963. A few males have been spotted sporadically.
Jaguars, however, have begun to return to the US in the last two decades. Most recently two male jaguars were spotted in southeastern Arizona. The jaguars were spotted in the Santa Rita Mountains (on US Forest Service land) and in the Huachuca Mountains (also on federally owned land). Local students named them El Jefe and Yo’oko.
Video footage of El Jefe from the Center for Biological Diversity
Jaguar Natural History:
Jaguars (Panthera onca) are the largest felines in the western hemisphere. Their bodies can reach six feet in length with a three foot long tail. They can weigh as much as 250 pounds. Females give birth to a litter of one to four cubs and raise these cubs for two years or more....
Read the Entire Blog Post Here.
Biophilia Helping Group Protect Jaguar Habitat at Sonoita Creek in Arizona