Endangered Jaguars – help stop the persecution
Original painting of the beautiful Jaguar by talented wild-life artist, Jason Morgan. I have this print on canvas from Jason – you can order it too if you like by going to Jason’s website here. In 2004 I had a black jaguar (panther) animal guide helper. This page here explains the symbolism of the panther.
The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas. The jaguar has a compact body, a broad head and powerful jaws. I ts coat is normally yellow and tan, but the color can vary from reddish brown to black. The spots on the coat are more solid and black on the head and neck and become larger rosette-shaped patterns along the side and back of the body.
The jaguar makes its home in a wide-variety of habitats including deciduous forests, rainforests, swamps, pampas grasslands and mountain scrub areas. They are solitary animals and live and hunt alone, except during mating season. The male’s home range is between 19-53 square miles. The female’s home range is between 10-37 square miles.
The jaguar hunts mostly on the ground, but it sometimes climbs a tree and pounces on its prey from above. It has very powerful jaws and sharp teeth and usually kills its prey with one crushing bite to the skull. Unlike most big cats, the jaguar loves the water. It often swims, bathes and plays in streams and pools. It will also hunt for fish in the water. Information about the black jaguar or panther can be found at this page here.
Source of information
Jaguars have been eliminated from most of the United States due to habitat loss, over hunting and killings to protect livestock. If you live in the U.S.A. you can adopt a Jaguar from the Wildlife Defenders organisation, which is what I would do if I lived there. Please visit this page of the Defenders website to adopt your own Jaguar.
The Jaguar has been virtually eliminated from much of the drier northern parts of its range, as well as from northern Brazil, the pampas scrub grasslands of Argentina and throughout Uruguay.
The jaguar is protected at the national level across most of its range, with trading prohibited in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, United States, and Venezuela, and hunting restrictions in place in Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru.
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) listed the Jaguar (scientific name Panthera onca) as “near threatened” in 2002, but others see the Jaguar as endangered. The IUCN Red List Index (RLI) measures overall trends in extinction risk for sets of species, based on genuine changes in their status over time. See what “near threatened” means at this page of the IUCN here, please.
I think that the traditional rosette spotted Jaguars are the most beautiful big cats in the world. Leandro Silveira and Anah Silveira of the Jaguar Conservation Fund feature in a BBC Natural World special one hour documentary – JAGUARS BORN FREE .
This is not to be missed if you love CATS. Warning – the video contains graphic images, but just close your eyes at the spots that you don’t like so much. The documentary is well worth watching, as the Silveira’s pioneering and dedicated efforts to train 3 orphaned baby Jaguars to release them successfully into the wild is nothing short of memorable and breathtaking.
Jaguars suffer degradation of their natural habitat as well as being hunted and killed by people who see them as a threat to their live-stock and thus to their livelihood.
You can help the Jaguar Conservation Fund by making a donation or through an internship or joining them in an expedition (which is what I would love to do). Go to the “Get Involved” tab of their website if you are genuinely interested. I am happy to say that the JCF concluded a project – the Jaguar Social Project – in Brazil, in 2004, by providing financial compensation to ranchers of whom it had been determined that some of their livestock had been taken by Jaguars.
In conclusion, I think that the love and the intentions of people like the Silveiras adds hope and quality of life to our world.