Description: The jaguar (Panthera onca) is the largest cat native to the Western Hemisphere. It is characterized by yellowish-brown fur with dark rosette markings. The lower region of the tail is ringed in black and the tips of the ears have black edges. Jaguars are powerfully built, with large heads and strong limbs. The weight of an adult male averages around 120-200 pounds, while the females weigh slightly less.
Habitat: The jaguar's habitat varies from wet lowland habitats on its center range to arid habitats along its northern range.
Range: The jaguar can be a far ranging animal, traveling distances up to 500 miles. In North America, the historic range of the jaguar included Arizona up to the Grand Canyon and the mountains south of it, southwest New Mexico, and southeast California. The current range is considered by many to include Mexico, Central America, and as far south as Argentina in South America.
Reproduction: Jaguars breed year round with about a 100 day gestation period. A litter of one to four cubs is usually produced, with the average being two cubs. Cubs remain with their mother for two years.
Diet: The jaguar includes up to eighty-five species into its diet. Some prey species include the javelina, deer, turtle, birds, fish, and livestock. On the U.S. and Mexico borderlands, javelina and deer are the jaguar's primary food source.
Status: On July 22, 1997, the Fish and Wildlife Service granted endangered status to the jaguar throughout its range under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
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