A trail camera captured the image of a jaguar in Arizona’s Chiricahua/Dos Cabezas mountain range Jan. 6.
According to officials with the Chiricahua National Monument, it is the same male that has been photographed in the area off and on since 2016.
Both Arizona and New Mexico have verified jaguar migration into their jurisdictions through a trail camera project over the last 15 years.
Although chiefly associated with South America and tropical rainforests, jaguars occupy a variety of habitats that once included Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. There are even historical accounts of them in Louisiana.
Jaguars face a host of problems including increased poaching.
The Asian black market for tiger parts, such as claws for traditional medicines, has depleted most of Asia’s tiger populations. Due to having direct links because of thousands of workers in South and Central American countries, they are targeting jaguars-in particular for their claws and heads.
According to a study published in Conservation Biology, jaguar poaching, as noted by seizures of jaguar parts by wildlife officials and customs agents, increased 200-fold in South America in five years.
Hunting of jaguars is illegal in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, the United States, and Venezuela.
Ecotourism has proven a valuable asset to wildlife in areas where it is feasible but only in Brazil’s Pantanal region is the jaguar a factor. It’s the only place on Earth where ecotourists see them regularly. Otherwise, they are one of the planet’s most elusive animals.
Impoverished people with very little governmental oversight will have a hard time passing up the opportunity to kill these cats if it means money.
There have been a few attempts at “green hunting” for jaguars to dart them for GPS collaring and research with success in Bolivia.
We are partnering with Kingdom Zoo Wildlife Center for project to engage kids in jaguar conservation. It’s called Jaguar Revival.
Its goal is to revive awareness of jaguar conservation and inspire young people to get directly involved in the cause. It will use investigative journalism to get the story of what’s really happening with jaguars to the public.
It will also issue conservation challenges for kids and teens and create a reward system that recognizes young people stepping out to help these great cats.
“Since jaguars inspire us, we believe they can inspire young people struggling with depression and anxiety in this challenging time in our world,” said Lisa Moore with the Kingdom Zoo Wildlife Center.
” We are sending out Jaguar Revival care packages with special exclusive merchandise only available to kids facing these challenges. If you know of any we can help please email email@example.com.”
In the next month we are launching a podcast series on jaguars and announcing more ways we are helping Kingdom Zoo Wildlife Center with the Jaguar Revival project.
It’s an exciting time for everyone who loves these great cats.