November 23, 2011, 1:39 pm
Good news! An apparently healthy, full-grown jaguar was spotted in southeast Arizona just a few days ago. The animal has been photographed and its existence confirmed. This is the first sighting of a free-living jaguar in the United States since 2009, and it raises hopes that a sustainable population might eventually become established.
Unfortunately, it’s a male: In the world of population biology, it’s really the females that matter (perhaps in ours, too). The future of jaguars in the region therefore remains dim, or, at best, uncertain, although the presence of an evidently well-fed adult suggests that the habitat might be able to support a full-fledged breeding population. Let’s hope.
Southeast Arizona boasts an unusual confluence of habitats, enabling this small region to be home …