Tiger | Rainforest Alliance

Anatomy Jaguars can reach up to six feet in length—from nose to tip of tail—and stand three feet tall at the shoulder

The average male jaguar weighs about 120 pounds, but some individuals can weigh up to 300 pounds

Most jaguars weigh only two kilograms at birth

Jaguars are most famous for their beautiful spotted coats

These allow them to hide among the grasses, bushes and trees that dominate the jaguar’s habitat

The rare completely black (melanistic) jaguar is what we commonly call the black panther

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The habitat of jaguars is distributed in tropical forests, seasonally flooded forests, grasslands, woodlands and dry deciduous forests

Jaguars spend most of their time on the ground

They use their padded paws to move silently across the forest floor

Although not as agile as a leopard, jaguars can climb trees to hunt or rest

Diet Jaguars are mainly nocturnal hunters

They use their excellent eyesight and sharp teeth to ambush their prey and crush their skulls

Jaguars are known to feed on more than 85 species of prey, including armadillos, peccaries, capybaras, tapirs, deer, squirrels, birds, and even snails

Not limited to hunting on land, jaguars are adept at catching fish, turtles and young caiman from the water

They can even hunt monkeys and other tree dwellers that occasionally bring down branches

Unfortunately, jaguars compete with humans for most of their prey

In many regions, they are shot because of fear, livestock care or competition for hunting

Threats Unlike many other species, the jaguar faces no natural threats from rival cats or other predators, except humans

At the height of their decline in the 1960s and 1970s, more than 15,000 jaguars were killed each year for their beautiful fur

Although the jaguar fur trade has declined with consumer awareness campaigns, they continue to face pressure from poachers

In addition, habitat loss increases the frequency of contact between humans and jaguars

There are believed to be 15,000 jaguars in the wild today

If jaguars are to exist in the future, scientists believe it will be through a combination of specially protected areas and increased public awareness

Encyclopedia of Rainforests

“Jaguars,” Isle of Wight Zoo website, 2007

“Jaguar,” Big Cats Online website, 2007

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

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