It’s Official: A New Jaguar was Photographed in Arizona

Jaguar by Nathan Rupert. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. This is not the individual who was recently photographed in Arizona. To view that image, follow this link.
Jaguar by Nathan Rupert. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. This is not the individual who was recently photographed in Arizona. To view that image, follow this link.

There is a lot happening in the wild felid (cat) world right now! Uttarakhand’s high court just passed a landmark ruling, a new ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) den was recently found in Texas, and a potentially new jaguar was photographed in Arizona at the start of this month. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has now confirmed that that individual has never been photographed in the United States before.

According to this press release, five scientists from the AZGFD analyzed the jaguar (Panthera onca) in question. Its spot pattern did not match any known individuals, suggesting this is the first time it has been seen in the state. This is exciting news, because until now El Jefe was believed to be the only jaguar in the U.S. Now there might be two, although El Jefe has not been seen since September 2015.

As encouraging as this story is, it is important to point out that this new jaguar is believed to be a male. With no confirmed females in Arizona, the recovery of the species is still a ways off. This will especially be true if the proposed wall along the U.S. – Mexico border does not allow for wildlife crossings. Given the current political climate, the best move for now is to focus on conserving jaguars in the Mexican state of Sonora: as this is where jaguars sighted in the U.S. are believed to originate from. Supporting groups like the Northern Jaguar Project will help with this goal. It is also important to remember that wild animals have no conception of national boundaries. We need to make sure that border security does not unduly disrupt their abilities to move throughout the landscape.

Be sure to read AZGFD’s original press release here!

12 Thoughts

    1. It’s wonderful news, Nia! It shows that despite all the border security measures in Arizona, jaguars are still able enter the U.S. It also suggests that there might be more jaguars in the U.S. than we realize. I’m just being cautious in my reporting, to avoid misleading anyone.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with you dear Josh and I hope and wish for other wild animals in other countries too. But you know all world need peace, cities, towns, villages and nature :) I am being so happy when I hear good news. Love, nia

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sí!!! Afortunadamente muchas personas más saben que hay jaguares en los EEUU, gracias a el video de el Centro de Diversidad Biológica y Conservation Catalyst. Pero la situación política no es buena, y la población en Sonora es amenazado. Así que las cosas más importantes ahora son abogar por la fauna silvestre de las fronteras y conservar los jaguares en Sonora. Y necesitamos continuar observar los jaguares en los EEUU! Quizás encontraremos una hembra un día de estos.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tal cual! Cuanto más se difunda, mas difícil dejar el tema de lado, que es algo que le encanta a los políticos :(
            Y hay que tener fe! Seguro aparecerá una :)

            Liked by 1 person

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