I’ve written before about efforts to study jaguar (Panthera onca) populations here in the desert southwest and Mexico, most recently to note that the Bush administration had declined to formulate a recovery plan for the species in the Southwest. The following is therefore encouraging for those of us who care about these magnificent animals.
Three days ago, Arizona Game and Fish successfully captured and collared a wild jaguar for the first time in Arizona – a male (picture above) found just southwest of Tucson. The 118 pound specimen (perhaps “Macho B” who has been captured on camera a number of times over the past 13 years) was serendipitously trapped during a study of mountain lions and black bears and the radio collar is already returning important data. This is most exciting as relatively little is known about the species in the most northern part of its range.
For more information on efforts to study these magnificent carnivores in Arizona and northern Mexico, see the Northern Jaguar Project and the Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project. The latter project is funded in part by the Heritage Fund (i.e. through sales of Arizona lottery tickets) and Indian gaming revenue, while the NJP accepts donations from the public.
Update: Fixed the link for NJP donations … my error, sorry.