New Sighting of Arizona’s Only Known Jaguar

A jaguar named Caza in Sonora, Mexico. Photo courtesy of the Northern Jaguar Project and reproduced from
A jaguar named Caza in Sonora, Mexico. Photo courtesy of the Northern Jaguar Project and reproduced from

Earlier this month, a student project led by Dean Goehring produced new photographs of the only known jaguar in the United States.

Goehring, who is studying Environmental Science at Prescott College, placed camera traps in the Madrean Sky Islands. One of these traps was placed near a carcass (the original article does not say which species), and this is the one that captured the new images.

This jaguar has been sighted in Arizona since 2011 or 2012, depending on which source one believes. He benefits from the recently designated critical habitat in Arizona and New Mexico, although this habitat is under threat from a proposed copper mine.

Curiously, despite this jaguar’s long stay in the United States, he does not yet have a name. The Center for Biological Diversity is currently running a contest to remedy this problem. By following this link, you can help name the Arizona jaguar. You can vote for one of five proposed monikers, or write in your own. I highly recommend you write in El Tigre, which is what Panthera onca has long been called in the US-Mexico borderlands. It would literally mean the jaguar, which would be highly appropriate for the only confirmed jaguar in the US.

Click here for the original article on Goehring’s sighting.

9 Thoughts

  1. Thank you for that update on El Tigre! If I’m not mistaken, there hasn’t been a breeding population of jags in the US since the 1950s? I hope he survives out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the last female jaguar was killed in the US in 1963 by a government agent. All the sightings since 1996 have been males, most likely dispersers from Mexico. I hope El Tigre survives too, and that more jaguars make their way northwards. The new border fence can’t be helping though.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, I certainly will. I don’t think anyone will mess with El Tigre; the last time Arizona Fish and Game tried to capture a jaguar it ended up dying. What does concern me is the border fence, since it might be keeping females out of the US. But jaguars are smart and physically capable, so who knows.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.