The recent image of a jaguar near the United States-Mexico border by a University of Arizona graduate student with ties to the University of Wyoming suggests that habitat connectivity might remain between the southwestern U.S. and the northernmost jaguar subpopulation in Sonora, Mexico.

Ganesh Marin, a doctoral student in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona and a National Geographic Early Career Explorer, made the discovery recently while reviewing footage from wildlife cameras deployed as part of a research project.

John Koprowski, Marin’s graduate adviser and professor emeritus at the University of Arizona who joined UW as dean of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources last September, leads the project.

Jaguars are the largest species of big cats native to the Americas and are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

By 1990, jaguars were thought to have been eliminated from the United States. Although individual cats have been observed in areas of southern Arizona and New Mexico in recent years.

The research project is a joint effort of UW and the University of Arizona in collaboration with the Cuenca Los Ojos Foundation and members from Santa Lucia Conservancy, Phoenix Zoo, Arizona State University and National Autonomous University of Mexico.

National Geographic writer Douglas Main will feature the discovery in an upcoming story that can be found here.

Footage of Marin’s discovery is available to view here. 

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