22 Feb 2009

Jaguar Collared in Arizona

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Arizona Game and Fish photo

Contrary to widespread reports of the big cat’s extinction in the United States, a live jaguar was photographed in Arizona in 2006.

Jaguars really do survive in today’s Arizona, as this news item from the LA Times confirms.

Erecting that border fence could have the highly undesirable impact of eliminating access to Arizona from their primary breeding source in Northern Mexico resulting in the real extinction in this country of one of our most exotic and charismatic big game species.

A jaguar was captured southwest of Tucson this week during an Arizona Game and Fish Department research study. The study was actually aimed at monitoring black bear and mountain lion habitats.

The male cat has been fitted with a satellite tracking collar and released. The collar will provide biologists with location updates every few hours and it is hopeful that this data will provide information on a little-studied population segment of this species. This is the first time in the U.S. that a jaguar has been able to be followed in this manner.

“While we didn’t set out to collar a jaguar as part of the research project, we took advantage of the important opportunity,” Terry Johnson, Arizona Game and Fish dept. endangered species coordinator, said in a press release issued by the department.

Arizona Game and Fish press release.

Hat tip to Reid Farmer via Karen L. Myers.

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