The endangered Jaguar makes a comeback in Brazil

Goias, Brazil is known as the heartland of the country’s agriculture. With thousands of acres designated to sugar cane, soy and cattle, it might not be the typical environment for the endangered Jaguar. According to a research conducted by Leandro Silveira of the Jaguar Conservation Fund, this magnificent predator continues to adapt to a changing ecosystem.

“Before we started this study there was no knowledge that jaguars would inhabit this kind of environment,“ Silveira said.

The study used GPS technology and trail cameras to track the movement of the big cats. His data concluded jaguars can in fact survive within an agricultural landscape.

Read more… The endangered Jaguar makes a comeback in Brazil | CCTV America.

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Whats a Black Panther, Really?

Whats a Black Panther, Really?

A “black panther” is not its own species—it’s an umbrella term that refers to any big cat with a black coat.

The condition is caused by the agouti gene, which regulates the distribution of black pigment within the hair shaft, according to the University of California, Davis. It’s most well known in leopards, which live in Asia and Africa, and jaguars, inhabitants of South America. (Domestic cat lovers might be interested to know the agouti gene doesn’t cause black fur in house cats.)

Read more… Whats a Black Panther, Really?.

In Brazil’s wetlands, jaguars face a new threat: Drug traffickers

The rise of jaguar watching tours in Brazil has brought a sea-change in the attitudes of ranchers.  The cats, once seen as a threat to livestock, are now seen as a big money draw.

But the recent discovery of a dead jaguar has raised an unexpected new threat: drug smugglers.  The fear is that drug smugglers who favour the quiet backwaters of the Pantanal are now shooting jaguars to deter the unwanted attention of tourists.

Read more… In Brazil’s wetlands, jaguars face a new threat: Drug traffickers | Al Jazeera America.

Tourists risk lives for pictures of rare jaguars fighting in Brazil

This hair-raising picture shows brave tourists risking their lives for pictures as they strayed close to fighting jaguars.

Seasoned wildlife photographer Paul Williams was overjoyed to finally find elusive jaguars in their natural habitat, the Brazilian Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland area.

But Paul, 34, who works for the BBC Natural History Unit, soon found his joy turn to terror as he watched foolhardy tour boats jostling to see which could get the closest.

“Sadly it’s a scene that’s too common in natural parks around the world, but it’s important to remember that without tourism many of these areas would be under threat. Everyone has the right to experience nature and wildlife, but the organisations and companies who manage this have a responsibility to ensure that the welfare of the wildlife is paramount.”

Read more… Tourists risk lives for pictures of rare jaguars fighting in Brazil – AOL Travel UK.

Moment jaguar leaps from Brazil river bank in bid to catch otter below.

This is the moment a jaguar was captured diving from the top of a river bank in an attempt to catch a giant river otter.

After spotting a family of otters travelling noisily downstream, the sharp-eyed predator is seen stealthily making its way across the top of an 26ft river bank.

Noticing the youngest and smallest of the group trailing behind, the fearless feline decided to make the most of its vantage point by launching into the water head first.

But it seems that this is one big cat that might still needs a few diving lessons as the lucky otter managed to slip beneath the brown mirky water of the Cuiaba River in Brazil.

Captured by Irish photographer, David Jenkins, 41, the mammals can be heard calling loudly to their youngest member of the family.

See more photos and video: Moment jaguar leaps from Brazil river bank in bid to catch otter below | Mail Online.

Jaguar: the largest of the big cats in the Americas and a God of the Underworld for the Maya

Black Jaguar

The jaguar, a muscular and compact species, weighs anywhere between 79 and 350 pounds (36 and 160 kilograms); with a length between 3.9 and 6.4 feet (1.2 and 1.95 meters), it is the undisputed largest of the big cats in the Americas.

This makes the jaguar the third largest cat in the world (behind the lion and the tiger), and the largest cat in the western hemisphere.

Believed to have originally evolved in Asia before crossing over into North America via the Bering land-bridge, the stealthy cat of the Americas has a current range that includes Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica (particularly on the Osa Peninsula), Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, the Southern United States and Venezuela.

However, its population in the United States has greatly decreased in recent years as a result of hunting and habitat loss.

The jaguar prefers to live in dense rainforests, but can survive an any number of different habitats, although it usually will stay in those that include bodies of water (the jaguar is actually a very gifted swimmer).

As you might know, most jaguars are covered in beautiful spots. However, there are a small percent (6%) that are all black (but sometimes they may still have visible spots) and are known as “black panthers”. The name black panther can also be used to describe other big black cats (of the Panthera genus) like leopards and cougars.

The jaguar is an apex predator, and uses a stalking method to hunt whatever creature it wants. When they jaguar catches its prey, it uses the unique method of delivering a bite directly to the head of the other animal, damaging the brain and causing instant death.

This method is so effective because of the jaguar tremendously powerful bite, which can penetrate bone and shell in its first attempt.

They can sometimes kill prey that weigh much more that the cats themselves do, sometimes up to almost 700 lbs (318 kg). They are mostly active at dawn and dusk, so they can move in the cool twilight to hunt.

Jaguars are currently listed by conservation authorities as ‘near threatened’, and are therefore the subject of various conservation efforts.

Much of their previous range has been reduced, like in the countries of El Salvador and Uruguay where they are now totally extinct.

For the ancient Maya, the jaguar had the ability to cross between worlds, and daytime and nighttime represented two different worlds for them.

The living and the earth are associated with the day, and the spirit world and the ancestors are associated with the night. As the jaguar is quite at home in the nighttime, it was believed to be part of the underworld; thus, “Maya gods with jaguar attributes or garments are underworld gods”

In honor of the majestic jaguar — the maya celebrate the “Ix” or Jaguar day in the Mayan Tzolkin Calendar — These Tzolkin days are very special and they truly elicit deep ancestral reactions in people.

There is no doubt that many of us humans feel connected or strongly identified with this feline. (Please share with us your thoughts about how you connect with the feline side of you).

Would you know any local names for this animal? In the Orinoco plains of Colombia and Venezuela it is sometimes known as the “wooly hands” or “mano e’ lana” because it usually does not make noticeable sounds when walking on the jungle’s floor.

Read more: Jaguar: the largest of the big cats in the Americas and a God of the Underworld for the Maya – The Yucatan Times.