Research Recommendations for the Arizona-New Mexico Jaguar Conservation Team

McCain, Emil B.
Childs, Jack L.
Childs, Anna M.
Hansen, Kevin
Haynes, Lisa
Swann, Don
Colvin, Matt
Snow, Tim
Arizona Game and Fish Deparment
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ABSTRACT: This report summarizes the results of the first two meetings of the Arizona-New Mexico Jaguar Conservation Team (JAG Team) Research Committee and outlines future research that will guide the JAG Team in sound conservation management of jaguars in the United States. Research objectives were identified and approved by the JAG Team. These objectives are to describe and quantify (1) the current distribution and (2) habitat requirements of jaguars in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. The second meeting focused on selecting study methods to achieve these objectives. The Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project has been conducting noninvasive jaguar research in southeastern Arizona since 1999. There is great need to expand upon the current research by conducting similar noninvasive presence/absence surveys in adjacent mountain ranges with potential jaguar habitat in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. It is also necessary to gather more detailed data on jaguar habitat selection in the Borderlands Region. Home range size, composition of habitat types, travel routes, movement patterns, and diet are currently unknown for jaguars in the northern extent of their range. This type of information is critical for the JAG Team to successfully manage for healthy jaguar conservation in the American Southwest. After virtual extirpation from the Southwest during the mid-1900’s, jaguars have been rediscovered in portions of their former range in the United States, changing the way we think about their current status and distribution. However, we must look ahead and take the next step towards responsible jaguar conservation and apply serious, indepth and objective research on the jaguar in the borderlands region. We emphasize the unique situation of wild jaguars currently occupying portions of southeastern Arizona and recommend investigations to learn as much as possible on the specific habitat selection and habitat requirements of these jaguars while the opportunity exists. We propose a combination of studies. These would include noninvasive presence/absence surveys to determine the current status and distribution. Once jaguars are located, we recommend conducting detailed studies of their habitat selection and ecology using a combination of GPS telemetry and noninvasive monitoring techniques.
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Altar Valley Conservation Alliance

The Altar Valley Conservation Alliance is a collaborative conservation organization founded in 1995, and incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.  Just southwest of Tucson, Arizona, the Altar Valley comprises approximately 610,000 acres of Sonoran desert grassland, some of the most biologically rich and ecologically threatened biotic communities in the world. Private ranches work side by side with federal, state and local agencies to manage the valley, which is the largest unfragmented watershed in Pima County, outside of the Tohono O’odham Nation to the west. This collection is an archive of reports and other documents specific to Alliance activities.