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New sighting of a Jaguar confirmed in Arizona

23/11/2011 18:05:30

Macho B, the last known USA wild jaguar was collared in 2009 just 2 weeks before his death. Credit AZGFD.

Jaguar found by a hunter

November 2011. The Arizona Game and Fish Department has confirmed a hunter’s report of a jaguar southeast of Tucson after collecting hair samples from the area for possible DNA testing. 
The report was received on Saturday, Nov. 19 from an experienced hunter using dogs to hunt mountain lions. The dogs pursued an animal the hunter deemed was a jaguar. The animal was chased up a tree approximately, and the hunter was able to obtain photographs and video. After photographing the jaguar, the hunter quickly left the area with his dogs and observed from a distant point. The jaguar remained treed for approximately 15 minutes and then headed south. 

Adult male
Based on the images, biologists believe the jaguar is an adult male that appeared in good, healthy condition and weighed approximately 200 pounds. 

Biologists will compare the photos and video to images of other jaguars photographed throughout Arizona in the past. They will try to use comparisons between a jaguar’s unique spots, or “rosettes,” to determine if the animal has been identified previously. 

The last known wild jaguar in USA was 'Macho B'
who died in 2009. Macho B was believed to be the
oldest known jaguar in the wild. His age was
estimated at two to three years old in photographs
taken in 1996, making him 15-16 years old now.
This jaguar was known as Macho A, and was
photographed in Arizona in 2001. This can only
mean that the new jaguar will be called Macho C.

Read more about Macho B 

Hunters locating jaguars

Four of the last five confirmed jaguar sightings in Arizona have been reported by hunters, who all took responsible action to document the animal, report it to Game and Fish, and remove their dogs from the area once the animal was identified as a jaguar. These hunters have provided biologists with critical information that may not otherwise be known, information that will help increase the understanding of the species’ existence in the borderland area. 

The species has been protected outside of the United States under the Endangered Species Act since 1973. That protection was extended to jaguars within the U.S. in 1997, the year after their presence in the Arizona and New Mexico borderlands was confirmed.  
Jaguar range
Jaguars once ranged from southern South America through Central America and Mexico and into the southern United States. It is believed that southern Arizona is the most northern part of the range for a population of jaguars living in Sonora, Mexico. As noted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a 2006 report, it appears there is “regular intermittent use of the borderlands area by wide-ranging males.” The report also observes that “no indication of the presence of females or cubs, indicates that physical and biological features in the U.S. may allow individual transients to survive, at least temporarily, but do not support a breeding population.” 

Jaguars are the only cat in North America that roar. They prey on a variety of mammals, fish, birds and reptiles. Females breed year-round and have litters of one to four cubs that stay with their mother for nearly two years.  

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