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The jaguar is the largest and most powerful cat in the Americas, and it has been a cultural icon in Latin America as long as historical and archaeological records reach back. WCS has been a leader on jaguars for over three decades. Across this big cat’s enormous range, WCS brings together experts to establish a framework for its conservation and deploys biologists across multiple sites to help halt encroaching threats to jaguars.
While the jaguar’s conservation status is listed by IUCN as Near Threatened – the most favorable category of any big cat – jaguar populations are still considered to be declining globally and habitat is rapidly disappearing, with over 40% of historic range already lost. This loss of habitat puts jaguars in more regular contact and at much greater risk of disease transmission from domestic animals, and WCS Health Programs are beginning to investigate the impact of these disease risks to wild jaguar populations.
Jaguar photo credits (banner and thumbnail): Julie Larsen Maher, WCS