Why a new jaguar sighting near the Arizona-Mexico border gives experts hope
The exclusive finding suggests the jaguar's range may be expanding—and a new study verifies the U.S. has plentiful habitat to reclaim if the cats can reach it.
Jaguars once roamed throughout much of Arizona and New Mexico, even as far north as the Grand Canyon. But throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, hunters exterminated the U.S. population of North America’s only big cat.
But with a breeding population in adjacent Sonora, Mexico, that numbers up to 200, cats from their ranks are increasingly wandering north into Arizona. At least seven male jaguars have been seen in the southern part of the state in the last 25 years—including one that resides in southeastern Arizona—and another handful have been spotted in Mexico close to the border over the same period.
Now researchers have captured videos of a new jaguar on a ranch in Sonora, a couple miles south of the spot