Defenders in the Southwest

Defenders in Action: Jaguar Recovery

Although jaguars are often thought of as tropical creatures, these amazing cats used to roam the Southwestern United States, and they still occupy the United States-Mexico borderlands. In 2011 alone, there were two verified jaguar sightings in southern Arizona, and there are three known populations of jaguars in Sonora, Mexico, the nearest of which is about 100 miles south of the Arizona border. Defenders works to support jaguar recovery in the US and Mexico, with the goal of viable, connected populations of jaguars throughout their northern range in the US and Mexico.

How We’re Helping

  • Defenders conducts research, promotes acceptance of jaguars in both the U.S. and Mexico, and works to ensure the management of public lands in the Southwest is compatible with jaguar recovery.
  • We work with our partners to manage and protect the Northern Jaguar Reserve in Sonora, Mexico. 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.
  • Also in Sonora, Defenders and our partners have developed an innovative jaguar camera contest to promote jaguar acceptance and provide an incentive for jaguar conservation.  On private ranches around the Northern Jaguar Reserve, remote trail cameras sometimes catch images of jaguars. When they do, the rancher and the local community both receive a reward.
More on Defenders in the Southwest: Success Stories »

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