Wildlife - Jaguar

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by luckyjinx2014
Last updated 8 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Animals
Grade:
12

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Wildlife - Jaguar

Jaguars are not often seen in Texas, although previously part of their home range was in the southern most part of the state. Occasionally some jaguars will still make it up to this same part of Texas- usually in the case of forest fires causing them to flee- but usually they frequent the rainforests of South America.

Jaguars

The habitat of the jaguar is the rainforests of Central and South America- they prefer wet, dense, areas. They usually reside near rivers or swamps. It eats the same things as a cougar- often just larger amounts or larger game- such as deer, pigs, monkeys, fish, and other local animals, although the jaguar is larger than the other big cat. Jaguars average larger than 50 lbs, where cougars are smaller than 50 lbs. Jaguars will usually attack from above, so tree cover is necessary in their habitats.

The decline of the jaguar has been caused by the destruction of the rainforest, and the increase in urban areas. As their homeland disappears, so do they. The jaguar is also killed by farmers when they are found to kill livestock, and by poachers for their fur.

The jaguar is considered a threatened species. The efforts of the international community to preserve this big cat include ecotourism, and educating local farmers on the cat's threatened status and the penalties for killing one. The jaguar is considered an umbrella species- by protecting its homelands we can also protect a number of smaller creatures.

Jaguars are the largest big cat in the western hemisphere, averaging about 50-100lbs. About 6% of the population appears solid black, known as panthers, although their spots can be seen in sunlight. Jaguars are found in 9 different subspecies throughtout North, Central, and South American. The largest subspecies, found in Argentina, can reach around 300 lbs!

If the jaguar becomes extinct, the smaller species that thrive in its habitat will likely also become extinct.


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