Jaguars are genetically very close to African lions.
Jaguars are the only New World member of the genus Panthera, a genus that includes roaring cats such as tigers, lions, and leopards.
Modern jaguars likely descended from the extinct European jaguar that crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Asia into North America.
Modern jaguars historically ranged as far north as the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Hunting, trapping and poisoning were primary factors in the extirpation of the jaguar from most of the American Southwest.
From 1900-2016, there were 64 verified records of individual jaguars from Arizona. Most of these jaguars were killed by humans.
60% of jaguar records from the U.S. came from 1900-1925. This period of time was probably the biggest downfall of jaguars in our country.
Starting in the late 1910’s, 4 jaguars were killed in 4 years in the Santa Rita Mountains of AZ. One of these was an adult female.
About a quarter of all the historic jaguars killed in the U.S. (of known sex) were female. Some were actively raising cubs.
There is currently only one known jaguar in the United States, but since the mid 1990’s new jaguars have appeared in AZ roughly every 3-5 years.
Jaguars are not picky eaters. Their natural prey includes anything from frogs and turtles to javelina and deer.
Jaguars may have the strongest pound-for-pound bite force in the cat family.
Jaguars have a unique killing style among the cats; they crush the skull of their prey with a quick and powerful bite.
Jaguars, like other roaring cats, can communicate over long distances using infrasound, a low frequency soundwave not audible to humans.
Jaguar cubs are raised by their mother for about 18-24 months, after which they must venture out to find their own territory.