Four photos of a jaguar roaming southeast of Tucson in the northern Santa Rita Mountains and one photo of an ocelot in the Huachuca Mountains were released today by the federal government.
The adult male jaguar and the adult male ocelot that were photographed appear to be in good health, said a news release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of Arizona and the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The photos were downloaded recently from automated, remote cameras placed in those locations by UA researchers, working under a $770,000 federal grant. Another six pictures were taken by a Game and Fish camera in the same area. Some of the jaguar photos were taken fairly close or adjacent to the site of the proposed Rosemont Mine.
This jaguar’s spot pattern matched one of a male jaguar treed by a hunter and photographed in November 2011 in the Whetstone Mountains south of Benson. That shows the large cat travels good distances between Southern Arizona’s Sky Island mountain ranges, the agencies and the UA said today in a news release.
None of the new jaguar photos can be matched to a September 2012 photo of a jaguar tail taken in the Santa Ritas because in the new photos, the tail is obscured or the jaguar’s opposite side was photographed, the news release said. But this jaguar is most likely the same cat, the release said.
With the ocelot, photographed in the Huachucas west of Sierra Vista, this cat’s spot patterns show it is the same male that was photographed several times in the Huachucas in 2011 and 2012, the release said. But this picture was shot about four miles from the earlier locations.
Read more in tomorrow's Star