(c) Jeffery Armstrong


Success Stories

The partnership between Defenders of Wildlife, the Northern Jaguar Project and Naturalia has resulted in several wins for jaguars. Together we have:

  • Established a 50,000-acre reserve to help protect the northernmost breeding jaguars and to serve as a base camp to support research and community outreach programs to help expand conservation in the region.
  • Won a significant court decision directing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to produce a science-based jaguar recovery plan.
  • Helped initiate a non-invasive camera-based research and monitoring program which also builds tolerance among ranchers by paying for photos of jaguars, ocelots, bobcats and mountain lions.
  • Initiated the Jaguar Artists Group, a team of musicians, painters, writers, videographers and other artisans who are employing their talents to help the public better understand the importance of jaguars and what is needed for their return. One of the art projects called "Sewing Spots Together," features large fabric panels joined to form a 150 ft. long image of a jaguar, coordinated by Tucson artist Stephanie Bowman. The project is raising awareness of the need to create wildlife corridors between natural spaces so that jaguars can safely move all the way from the Amazon up to Arizona.
  • Brought a legal challenge against the U.S. Forest Service for failing to consider impacts on jaguars while approving large-scale mining activities in areas identified as important to jaguar conservation.
  • Sponsored the development of a web-based jaguar curriculum and resource kit for teachers through the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program. The curriculum focuses on the biology, ecology and conservation of jaguars and the kit includes skulls, tracks, scat and other materials that students can explore to better understand these fascinating felines.
  • Directed an Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program to develop a Save-A-Spot for the American Jaguar coffee sleeve education and fundraising campaign that helped expand the Northern Jaguar Reserve in Sonora, Mexico.
  • Sponsored in-situ conflict jaguar-livestock avoidance projects such as fencing calving pastures to secure grazing, and developing watering stations to reduce ambush opportunities.
  • Appealed a BLM decision to permit construction of a wall and a new road within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area that would have had disastrous impacts for the cottonwood-willow woodlands and the wildlife that depend on this habitat. Construction of the wall would physically isolate many wildlife species in Arizona that have populations in Mexico, including jaguar, ocelot, coati, gray and kit fox, badger, black bear, ringtail cat and unique subspecies of deer and squirrel.
  • Submitted a petition to the Supreme Court to hear the case of a very limited waiver issued by Department of Homeland Security Chertoff to speed construction on a few miles of fence and road that cross southern Arizona. Though the Supreme Court did not take the case, our petition elevated the issue and eventually led to greater funding for methods to mitigate the impacts of projects like this one on wildlife.
  • Initiated a motion-camera monitoring project in Arizona’s Patagonia Mountains in partnership with the Patagonia Mountains Resource Alliance to better assess jaguar and other sensitive wildlife presence.