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inyathi posted a topic in World wildlifeDespite the best efforts of some Americans to seal off their southern border Mexican immigrants still make it across and not just the two-legged variety, the following is camera trap footage of El Jefe ‘The Boss’ America’s only wild jaguar. Due to a combination of hunting and habitat loss America’s largest cat became extinct as a breeding animal in the US by the mid 1900s with just occasional itinerant males like El Jefe turning up from time to time. Sightings like this always raise the question of whether jaguars should be reintroduced but the consensus amongst experts like Dr Alan Rabinowitz is that there is really insufficient habitat of a high enough quality left for the US to really support more than a very few jaguars. The US is also still a pretty hostile place for large carnivores and the reintroduction of Mexican wolves in this same region hasn’t been a total success so really rather than spend a lot of dollars re-establishing a small and insignificant population of US Jaguars much better to spend the money protecting larger more important populations further south. While young males leave the Northern Jaguar Reserve in Sonora Mexico in search of new territories travelling quite long distances young females tend to stay put so it's not likely any females will join El Jefe in US and introducing some isn't likely. So while it’s still fantastic to know that a wild jaguar is once more patrolling the mountains of Arizona with no wild females north of the border it's sadly very unlikely that The Boss will be fathering a new population of US Jaguars. Panthera El Jefe Makes an Appearance in Arizona Nat Geo Only Known Jaguar in U.S. Filmed in Rare Video
Patty posted a topic in WorldwideMark and I took a 6 week road trip from California to Texas and back via Arizona, a bit of Utah and New Mexico. I won't bore anyone to tears (myself included) with a day by day report as a lot of it was non-wildlife related and consisted of visits with family and friends. I thought I'd post some photos and would be happy to answer any questions. Please feel free to correct any mis-ID's. Thanks to everyone who helped with my planning thread especially @@offshorebirder, @@Atdahl and @@Anomalure for suggesting that I look at Southeast Arizona, an area which I hadn't previously given much thought to and we ended up falling in love with. We were generally very lucky with the weather and only ran into two snow storms (only one of which we had to drive through) that resulted in some minor tweaks to our itinerary while on the road. To start, a phone pano of Sedona Arizona at sunset. It had snowed that morning but most of it had melted by mid day. Monument Valley, Utah - it started snowing lightly here too the following morning but since only "flurries" were predicted we decided to continue on. Starting to get a bit "flurrier". That's Canyon de Chelly, Arizona behind us. Going about 25 MPH now. We did finally make it to Petrified Forest, Arizona that afternoon only to be told the park had closed for the first time in 10 years. But we made it in the following morning. Here's the Painted Desert portion of the park. A petrified log
We're planning to take a 4-6 week road trip from California to Austin, TX (to visit Mark's family over the Christmas/New Year holidays) and back. We will mostly be driving through Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas, possibly southern Utah, probably not Colorado as the trip is already getting longer and longer. Current plans are to roughly take 10 out and 40 back hitting Scottsdale and/or Tucson, Bosque del Apache, White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns, Guadalupe Mountains, Davis Mountains, possibly Big Bend though I'm having difficulty finding accommodations close to Christmas, Santa Fe, Taos, Petrified Forest, Monument Valley, then either Sedona or up into southern Utah. Just wanted to know if there are any particular wildlife areas on or close to our route that I should be looking into. I may even be persuaded to detour into Colorado. Thanks!