Defenders in Action: Protecting Critical Habitat for Jaguars
Defenders played a key role in helping establish the Northern Jaguar Reserve in Sonora, Mexico, to protect the northernmost remaining jaguar population. The properties are owned by Naturalia, one of Mexico’s leading conservation organizations, and managed in cooperation with Northern Jaguar Project with technical and financial support from Defenders of Wildlife.
Jaguars are being killed because of perceived conflicts with livestock, and overhunted for their fur and for trophies. Habitat loss is also a big problem for the northern population and the U.S.-Mexico border wall threatens to block jaguar migration routes.
How We’re Helping
The Northern Jaguar Reserve, now at over 55,000 acres, is the result of major binational cooperation to help save jaguars in their northern range. Initiated in 2003, the growing reserve protects key habitat for the last breeding population of northern jaguars—offering hope for their recovery in the United States.
Groundbreaking research being conducted on the reserve today will also help us better understand jaguar behavior and habitat requirements—information that’s helping experts pull together a stronger recovery plan.
Where We Are Today
For jaguars to make a comeback in the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must issue a recovery plan, which is expected to be completed in 2012. Defenders is also advocating for protection of key migration corridors connecting habitat in the U.S. and Mexico that would allow jaguars in Mexico—for example, from the reserve—to establish new territory in Arizona.