In scientific classification (taxonomy) the Jaguar (Panthera onca) belongs to the big cat genus Panthera within the subfamily Pantherinae of the Felidae cat family.
Kingdom: Animalia (animals)
Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)
Class: Mammalia (mammals)
Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
Suborder: Feliformia (cat-like)
Subfamily: Pantherinae (big cats)
Genus: Panthera (big cats)
Species: Panthera onca (Jaguar)
Note: The scientific name for the Jaguar species, Panthera onca, is also known as the binomial name, species name, latin name, biological name and zoological name. Some use the term 'botanical name' however that is only applicable to the plant kingdom (botany) and not the animal kingdom (zoology).
This Jaguar classification chart shows where the Jaguar fits into the Felidae family and in particular the Panthera genus.
Subspecies (Lower Classifications)
Historically up to nine Jaguar subspecies (or lower classifications) have been recognized:
- Panthera onca onca (South American jaguar)
- Panthera onca arizonensis (Arizona jaguar - Arizona, New Mexico)
- Panthera onca centralis (Central American jaguar - El Salvador south to Columbia)
- Panthera onca goldmani (Goldman's jaguar - Yucantan Peninsula south to Belize)
- Panthera onca hernandesii (West Mexican jaguar)
- Panthera onca palustris (Pantanal jaguar)
- Panthera onca paraguensis (Paraguay jaguar - Matto Grosso in Brazil to northern Argentina and Paraguay)
- Panthera onca peruviana (Peruvian jaguar - coastal Peru)
- Panthera onca veraecrucis (Vera Cruz jaguar - eastern and southeastern Mexico to Texas)
However the last Felidae taxonomy revision in 2017 proposed that the Jaguar is a monotypic species (no subspecies). Recent genetic studies found insufficient evidence to support any subspecies of Jaguars, however there are four regional groups that show variations from north to south of the Jaguar's range:
- Mexico and Guatemala
- Southern Central America
- North of the Amazon
- South of the Amazon
Here is a list of papers published on Jaguars. Click on the title bar to view the abstract and the link to the article.
In April 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released its recovery plan for the jaguar (Panthera onca) after several decades of discussion, litigation and controversy about the status of the species in the USA. The USFWS estimated that potential habitat, south of the Interstate-10 highway in Arizona and New Mexico, had a carrying capacity of c. six jaguars, and so focused its recovery programme on areas south of the USA-Mexico border.
Here we present a systematic review of the modelling and assessment efforts over the last 25 years, with a focus on areas north of Interstate-10 in Arizona and New Mexico, outside the recovery unit considered by the USFWS.
Despite differences in data inputs, methods, and analytical extent, the nine previous studies found support for potential suitable jaguar habitat in the central mountain ranges of Arizona and New Mexico. Applying slightly modified versions of the USFWS model and recalculating an Arizona-focused model over both states provided additional confirmation. Extending the area of consideration also substantially raised the carrying capacity of habitats in Arizona and New Mexico, from six to 90 or 151 adult jaguars, using the modified USFWS models.
This review demonstrates the crucial ways in which choosing the extent of analysis influences the conclusions of a conservation plan. More importantly, it opens a new opportunity for jaguar conservation in North America that could help address threats from habitat losses, climate change and border infrastructure.
Sanderson, E.W.; Fisher, K.; Peters, R.; Beckmann, J.P.; Bird, B.; Bradely, C.M.; Bravo, J.C.; Grigione, M.M.; Hatten, J.R.; Lopez Gonz lez, C.A.; Menke, K.; Miller, J.R.B.; Mormorunni, C.; Robinson, M.J.; Thomas, R.E.; Wilcox, S.
A systematic review of potential habitat suitability for the jaguar (Panthera onca) in central Arizona and New Mexico, USA
The rate of deforestation and the number of large wildfires are increasing in the Amazon. Illegal loggers, miners, ranchers, and farmers all have contributed to this increase. Their activities have dramatic consequences for biodiversity, ecological services, and people.
In this study, we estimated the number of jaguars affected by deforestation. We focused on the Brazilian Amazon from August 2016 to December 2019. Further, we analyzed the effects of socio-geographic determinants of deforestation and state policies. To do so, we used deforestation data from DETER-B satellite system.
The number of jaguars within each deforested area was pulled from a previous study, which provided jaguar abundances for jaguar entire range. We assumed all jaguars within a deforested area were affected (displaced or killed). To determine the underlying causes of jaguar loss, we regressed the number of jaguars lost per state and year against the proportion of total forest area within reserves, distance to forest border, and monetary efficiency in cattle production.
We estimate a total of 1,422 jaguars have been displaced/killed in recent years (2016: 488, 2017: 360, 2018: 268, 2019: 354). Only the proportion of protected area had an effect in reducing jaguar deforestation.
We discuss how our work could result in near real-time monitoring of jaguar displacement and how policies such as wood certification, more efficient cattle production, and centralizing governance may be solutions.
Menezes, J.F.S.; Tortato, F.R.; Oliveira-Santos, L.G.R.; Roque, F.O.; Morato, R.G.
Deforestation, fires, and lack of governance are displacing thousands of jaguars in Brazilian Amazon
2021 Conservation Science and Practice (3)
Article on TreeHugger: Nearly 1,500 Jaguars Killed or Displaced in Brazilian Amazon (treehugger.com)
Conservation of big cats Panthera spp., a taxonomic group including tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards and snow leopards, is a daunting challenge. As expanding human populations across Panthera range countries exacerbate competition for land and prey, conflicts between humans and big cats are inevitable.
Through a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature published from 1991 to 2014 and indexed in Web of Science and Google Scholar (186 articles), our study explored the current state of knowledge regarding human-Panthera conflict and potential solutions, examining variables such as spatial and temporal distribution of research, methods used to study conflict, evaluation of interventions, and management recommendations.
Our synthesis revealed several key data gaps and research needs. More studies could utilize diverse data collection approaches to focus on both the ecological and socio-cultural context for conflict. Additionally, only 21% of articles included in the review evaluated conflict mitigation interventions, and few of these yielded conclusive results. Success ratios suggest that compensation schemes and livestock management strategies were more effective tools for addressing conflict than either direct interventions (lethal removal or translocation of animals) or community interventions (e.g. education, ecotourism, local management). More studies should systematically evaluate the efficacy of conflict mitigation strategies, many of which are consistently recommended without empirical support.
Results highlight trends and opportunities that can be used to inform future research and management efforts focused on human-Panthera conflict, ultimately enhancing the potential for coexistence between humans and carnivore species worldwide
Holland, K.K.; Larson, L.R.; Powell, R.B.
Characterizing conflict between humans and big cats Panthera spp: A systematic review of research trends and management opportunities
2018 PLoS ONE (13): 1-19
The global conservation status for Jaguars is Near Threatened (NT) and populations are declining.
Historically Jaguars occurred in the southern states of America and in Mexico, but nowadays due to habitat loss and persecution by humans, they occur mostly in Central and South America, where populations continue to decline.
The following organizations are all fighting to conserve our iconic Jaguars in the face of rapid deforestation and predator-farmer conflict:
Please support these organizations with their important work if you can. No matter the size of your contribution, every bit helps!
Facts and Information
The Jaguar is the largest wild cat in the Americas and is the only member of the Panthera big cat family in the Western Hemisphere. It is a large powerful cat with the strongest bite force of all the wild cats. Melanistic (black) Jaguars are common, and they are often called black panthers.
The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on Jaguars:
- Jaguar Status and Distribution Map - IUCN Red List
- Jaguar Detailed Information - IUCN Cat Specialist Group
- Jaguar Academic Literature pdf - IUCN Cat Specialist Group
Big Cat Documentary:
Preview The Secret Lives of Big Cats filmed using high tech starlight and thermal imaging night cameras to capture previously unrecorded behavior. The series includes seven episodes on the secret lives of Lions, Tigers, Jaguars, Leopards, Snow Leopards, Pumas and Cheetahs. Produced by CuriosityStream.
Key Facts about Jaguars
~ Largest wild cat in the Americas ~
~ Most powerful bite force ~
~ Melanistic form common ~