Here at the Zoo, male Mulac and female Masaya draw in guests with their stunning coats and playful nature. World Jaguar Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate these animals while taking a look at how we can help jaguars thrive throughout their range.
At most, only around 15,000 jaguars remain in their natural habitat. This cat species is threatened by habitat loss and human hunting for their pelts. Ranchers also kill jaguars due to the big cats preying on their livestock. This is a shame because jaguars play a crucial role as apex predators, which helps maintain a healthy environment and balanced food chain.
Luckily, conservation organizations such as Northern Jaguar Project are dedicated to protecting these threatened animals. This project, which benefited from our Quarters for Conservation (Q4C) initiative in both 2014 and 2017, extends protection for jaguars in the buffer zone surrounding the 55,000-acre Northern Jaguar Reserve in Sonora, Mexico. This reserve has proved successful at protecting a small population of big cats, although jaguars in this region are still critically endangered.
With your help, Northern Jaguar Project has received over $12,000 in Q4C funds over the years, which has gone directly to engaging ranchers and local youth in conservation to reduce jaguar mortality and minimize human-wildlife conflicts.
Although today there are more threats facing these big cats than ever, there are also more success stories. Come visit our majestic jaguars on your next visit to the Zoo and spread the word about their conservation!