Rare Jaguars Spotted in Arizona and Mexico

From livescience.com.
The once-common jaguar has become a rare sight in North America, thanks to hunting and habitat fragmentation.

Now two were spotted in exceedingly rare and unrelated events this month.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department caught and collared a wild jaguar in Arizona for the first time, officials said Thursday. While a handful of the big cats have been photographed by automatic cameras in recent years, the satellite tracking collar will now help biologists learn more about this animal's range.

In 1997, a team was established in Arizona and New Mexico to protect and conserve the species. The Jaguar Conservation Team (JCT) began working with Mexico two years later, recognizing that the presence of jaguars in the United States depends on the conservation of the species in Mexico.

Interestingly, the project set up to do all this is funded by Arizona Lottery ticket sales.

"The photographs provide information about new recording sites, and allow us to deduce that the area where the animal was observed may be a corridor connecting jaguar populations," Monroy-Vilchis said.
Jaguars can live in several types of forest, grassland and dry habitat. They prey on a variety of animals, including fish, birds and reptiles. The largest contiguous area of habitat now remaining for jaguars centers in the Amazon Basin.

Amur Leopard Near Extinction.


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