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Jungle Cats » Jaguar

Panthera onca-Jaguar

English Common Name: Jaguar asasasas

Spanish common Names: Jaguar, Tigre

Scientific Name: Panthera onca

Survival Status: The Jaguar is listed as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN list and its numbers in the wild are declining more from habitat loss, genetic fragmentation and conflict with ranchers than from illegal poaching for its fur. The viability of the current population near Tucson in the U.S. is threatened by the building of the U.S.- Mexico border fence that will eliminate cross breeding between the U.S. and Mexico populations. The existing populations are most stable in the larger reserves scattered through Mexico, Central America and South America.

The IUCN Conservation status order is as follows: 1) Least Concern 2) Near Threatened 3) Vulnerable 4) Endangered 5) Critically Endangered 6) Extinct in the Wild 7) Extinct

Characteristics: The Jaguar is the third largest cat on the planet behind the Tiger and Lion and it is the largest and most powerful feline in the Western Hemisphere. This spotted cat most closely resembles the leopard but is much heavier, sturdier and more powerful than the leopard, and its behavior is more similar to a tiger. Its short and stocky limb structure allows for adept climbing, crawling and swimming ability. It almost always lives close to a water source such as a swamp, lake or river . Like the other large cats of the world it has the vocal capability to roar unlike its smaller American cousins.
DNA evidence suggests that the lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, snow leopard, and clouded leopard share a common genetic lineage that diverged from 6-10 million years ago. The Jaguar is the only member of this line existing today in the Western Hemisphere and did not appear in its final form and size until about 500,000 years ago.

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