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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

Jaguar Sightings

Jaguar Sightings

Jaguar on Arizona/Mexico border (credit: Tucson.com)

 

Jaguars are slowly returning to US. Recently a new cat was seen walking a mountain trail in Arizona and others have also been reported. This is good news.

The Arizona Fish & Game's maintains a Jaguar Conservation Unit which monitors sightings of any jaguar. One of their a camera traps was positioned in the remote Huachuca Mountains. The mountains are partially managed as a US Army base, partially managed as Forest Service lands, and other sections as private ranches. The desert mountains range from 4000-9500 feet in elevation and provide a mix of ecosystems and habitats. This diversity offers 'room to roam' for these solitary top predators. Previously, another jaguar had been sighted in a close-by area and was given the nickname 'el jefe' or 'the big guy' but this new spotted cat appears different. Sadly, the Huachuca jaguar was killed when it returned south into Mexico.

The sky islands of the Southwest were the northernmost extent of the jaguar's natural range until they were eliminated in the 20th Century. The nocturnal cats move across vast distances between South, Central, and North America seeking suitable habitat. Hopefully, these long-distance wildlife travelers will continue finding their way north into the Arizona and New Mexico mountains and become re-established in their once northernmost outposts. 

WHB

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