Jaguars are the third largest of the “big 4″ wild cats. They are a fierce stalk-and-ambush predator and are at the very top of the food chain. They have one of the most powerful bites of any predator and can even bite through the protective shells of reptiles, such as turtles. The jaguar is considered to be a near threatened species because the number of animals is in decline. The distribution of the jaguar has been reduced by about 40% from their historical range. Let’s take a look at where the jaguar lives today.
Where do jaguars live?
Jaguars can be found from a small section of the United States, parts of Mexico and throughout much of north and central South America. There are also a few isolated pockets of animals on the east coast of South America. They prefer to live in dense forested areas that are close to a source of fresh water. However, they can also be found in open grasslands or wetlands.
In the past the jaguar could be found throughout a large area of the southern United States, all of Mexico and almost all of South America. The following is a map showing the historical range of the jaguar compared with the current range.
Much of the population decline occurred in the 1960′s as the jaguar was hunted for their sort after skin. Fortunately this trade has declined since the 1970′s and with the ongoing conservation efforts this important species should be preserved for years to come.