The footage of the male jaguar, referred to as El Jefe by locals and scientists alike, was captured in the Santa Rita Mountains, just outside of Tuscon, Ariz.
Jaguars have disappeared from the USA over the past 150 years, primarily due to habitat loss and government predator control programmes meant to protect the livestock industry. He remains the only verified jaguar in the US, since another cat, Macho B, was euthanized after suffering capture-related injuries in March 2009.
El Jefe is believed to be about seven years old and thought to be last remaining wild jaguar of only four or five spotted in the U.S. in the past 20 years.
Ms. Neils says that the Tuscon area is a flawless habitat for El Jefe, as long as there remains open land connecting his Arizona home and the Mexican population.
Until now, wild jaguars were not known for sure to be roaming around the United States.
“A lot of people have no idea that we have jaguars in the United States or that they belong here”, said Randy Serraglio of the Tucson-based environmental group. “In bringing this video, we hope to inspire people to care about these animals and support protection for their homes”. Jaguars are the only roaring cat native to North America.
Take a glimpse, because it may be a while before we see El Jefe again. A Canadian mining company wants to develop a huge open-pit copper mine in the middle of his territory.
The US Fish and Wildlife Services’ biologists know him as jaguar Santa Rita, since that’s the region where the jaguar wanders.
The mine will sit on “a very small fraction of the jaguar’s 50 miles-plus range”, said Patrick Merrin, vice president of the Hudbay Rosemont project.
Conservation CATalyst, said in the release.
“El Jefe has been living more or less in our backyard for more than three years now”. This is the first-ever publicly released video of the #jaguar, recently named “El Jefe” by Tucson students, and it comes at a critical point in this cat’s conservation. “The Santa Rita Mountains are critically important to jaguar recovery in the country, and they must be protected”.