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Jaguar (Panthera onca)

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By 1960, the jaguar (Panthera onca) seemed to have vanished from the southwestern United States, the northernmost edge of its historic range in the Americas. Wildlife managers dismissed persistent rumors of sightings of this most iconic and mysterious member of the North American cat family as wishful thinking. Then in March 1996, while cougar (Puma concolor) hunting in the Peloncillo Mountains on the Arizona-New Mexico border just north of Mexico, rancher Warner Glenn and his daughter Wendy had an encounter that changed everything. On the fourth day of the hunt, Glenn’s hounds picked up a wild cat’s scent. The hounds trailed the cat in rough terrain through brush-choked rimrock canyons. Cougars usually climb trees when pursued by hounds. This animal didn’t do that. After a long chase, the cat ended up on an outcropping, just beyond the hounds’ reach. Glenn caught up, tied up his mule, and headed into the fray. To his shock, the cat on the rocks was an adult jaguar. Glenn called off his hounds and photographed the animal before it took off southward, toward Mexico. His photographs were the first taken of a wild jaguar in the United States.1


  • Home Range
  • Black Bear
  • Large Carnivore
  • Camera Trap
  • Critical Habitat

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Figure 9.1

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© 2014 Cristina Eisenberg

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Eisenberg, C. (2014). Jaguar (Panthera onca). In: The Carnivore Way. Island Press, Washington, DC.

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