This big cat’s spots are disappearing across the Americas

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The jaguar is the largest cat of the Americas, and the third largest in the world after the tiger and lion. While it varies in size, the jaguar can weigh up to 250 pounds.  

This intense big cat ranges through 18 countries in Latin America from Mexico to Argentina, but its numbers are declining. The jaguar also is occasionally spotted in the Southwest United States, including New Mexico. 

Jaguars are apex predators, meaning they sit at the top of the food chain. They sometimes share territory with cougars, which are smaller big cats.

The ABQ BioPark is home to female Maya. For enrichment, Maya enjoy balls, pumpkins and anything else she can dig her teeth and claws into. Cinnamon is one of her favorite scents—zookeepers sometimes put this spice inside a box to stimulate her sense of smell.

Our Actions Matter 

The jaguar is listed as a near threatened species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and its numbers are declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation. The cat is also frequently killed by humans, particularly because of conflicts with ranchers and farmers.

You can help by supporting organizations like Panthera, which is working on the Jaguar Corridor Initiative to “serve the genetic integrity of the jaguar by connecting and protecting core jaguar populations in human landscapes from northern Mexico to northern Argentina.”