Jaguar Panthera onca (Linné, 1758)


English: Jaguar; French: Jaguar; Aztek: miztli; Brasilian: Onca, Tigre; Guarani: chivé-guasu; Mapuche: Nahuel; Maya: Cak mozl; Shuar: Yampinkia, Yantana; Spanish: Jaguar.

Former distribution: From Los Angeles/California to New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Lower Louisiana, Mexico, Peninsula of Yucatan to Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Guyana.
Present distribution: Very rare north of the Mexican border; south to the Yucatan Peninsula, Venezuela, Guyana, Brasil, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia; Corrientes in Northern Argentina?
Behaviour: Preferred habitat: dense, tropical forests, savannas and swamps with good cover, in the vicinity of water; good swimmers and climbers; they stalk singly, taking their prey on the ground; activity is at twilight and nocturnal; prey includes peccaries, deer, monkeys, tapirs, sloths, agoutis, capybara, caimans, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, small mammals and occasionally domestic livestock and carrion.
Population status: Vulnerable. Threats to survival include uncontrolled hunting and poaching, and habitat loss from deforestation and the increase of cattle. No precise figures are available regarding population data, but it is obvious that a decrease in all distribution regions will continue.
Brief notes:
Body weight: 55-131.8 kg (up to 158 kg)
Head and body length: 170-241 cm
Tail length: 50-60 cm
Shoulder height: 68-76 cm
Gestation period: 93-110 days
Maximum age: 20 years in captivity
Trophy: Skull record B&C: 18 9/16″, 1965 Mexico, C.J. MCELROY. CIC: 40.26 points, 1967 Honduras, PRINCE ABDORREZA. SCI: 18 9/16″, 1980 Mexico, A. JUNO ARCE; average 14″.
Hunting methods: On a kill; with dogs and traps.
Subspecies: 8; 6 Neo-tropical region, 2 Holarctic region (all subspecies need reclassification)
1. Panthera o. onca Amazonas basin, Orinoco, (Venezuela, Guyana, northern and central Brazil, eastern Bolivia). Stable.
2. Panthera o. hernandesi Western Mexico. Endangered.
3. Panthera o. goldmanni Peninsula of Yucatan. Endangered
4. Panthera o. centralis Honduras, San Salvador, Nicaragua, Costarica, Panama to Colombia. Vulnerable.
5. Panthera o. peruviana Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia. Vulnerable.
6. Panthera o. palustris Southern Brazil to northern Argentina. Endangered.
Holarctic region
7. Panthera o. ariconensis Sonora, South-east Arizona, north-west-Mexico. Endangered.
8. Panthera o. veracrucensis South-west Texas to Tamaulipas, Veracruz to Tabasco. Endangered.
Remarks: The Jaguar is protected in most of the countries where it lives, but the application of realistic population control and conservation is in doubt. Skins and trophies are still of high value and continue to be illegally exported. IUCN notes that up to 15 000 jaguars were killed in the mid-1960’s. But the international ban on the import of jaguar skins has been successful.