Image # 9816
Captive adult male jaguar - Banos Zoo, Banos, Ecuador. In reaction to a citizen lawsuit filed by the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity, the US Fish and Wildlife Service designated the jaguar as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 on July 22, 1997. Although the jaguar historically ranged as far south as Argentina and as far north as Texas, Lousiana, Arizonia and New Mexico, these elusive and rare cats no longer breed within the US. Hunters killed large numbers of jaguars for their pelts in the early 1900's, and jaguar populations continue to be stressed by illegal poaching in parts of Mexico and central and South America. Habitat loss has also affected the jaguar's status.