adventures in nature

jaguar sighting in AZ!!

No, I didn’t see a jaguar … yet. But it was reported that the images of a male jaguar have been captured on some trail cams in southern Arizona this month. Here is the link, see also here. Exciting news!! These cats are rarely seen the U.S. these day (though they were native and originally lived in the States known as Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas – and prior to settlement of the West by Europeans, probably ranged much further). In January, the U.S. Federal Government designated habitat in the Southwest as protected for the Jaguar and announced a jaguar recovery plan.

Jaguars are the only “big cat” (genus Panthera) that range in the Americas, and they are the third largest cat in the world (behind tigers and lions). Cougars (aka pumas or mountain lions) are not considered to be in the big cat family (though they can be big!) – they are categorized in the genus Puma. Why the difference? One main point, other than size, is that the cats in the genus Panthera have the ability to roar!

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