Wildlife Monitoring Cameras Click Jaguar and Ocelot Photos

Automatic wildlife cameras snapped this photo of a male jaguar on a nightly walk in the Santa Rita Mountains on October 25. (Photo: USFWS/UA/DHS)
Automatic wildlife cameras snapped this photo of a male jaguar on a nightly walk in the Santa Rita Mountains on October 25. (Photo: USFWS/UA/DHS)

An adult male jaguar and an adult male ocelot have been photographed in two separate Southern Arizona mountain ranges by automated wildlife monitoring cameras. The images were collected as part of the Jaguar Survey and Monitoring Project led by the University of Arizona. Both animals appear to be in good health.

In late November, the UA project team downloaded photos from wildlife cameras set up as part of the research project and found new pictures of a jaguar in the Santa Rita Mountains. A total of 10 jaguar photos were taken by three UA cameras and one Arizona Game and Fish Department camera. The cat's unique spot pattern matched that of a male jaguar photographed by a hunter in the Whetstone Mountains in the fall of 2011, providing clear evidence that the big cats travel between Southern Arizona's "sky island"mountain ranges.

"We are very pleased about these photos," said Lisa Haynes, who manages the research project and coordinates the Wild Cat Conservation and Research Center project. "I am proud of our field team and their incredible knowledge and capacity to place these cameras in the best locations to detect jaguar and ocelot movement."

In September, a photo showing a jaguar tail was reported by the Arizona Game and Fish Department from a hunter's automated wildlife monitoring camera in the Santa Rita Mountains.

"None of the UA photos can be matched to this 'tail photo' because, in the new photos, the tail is obscured or the opposite side of the jaguar was photographed," Haynes explained. "However, we believe the jaguar is most likely the same individual."

In addition, a new ocelot photo was taken in the Huachuca Mountains west of Sierra Vista by one of the UA project cameras. Again, comparisons of the spot patterns revealed this to be the same male ocelot that has been reported by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and photographed in the Huachucas several times in 2011 and 2012. However, the UA photo was taken about 4 miles away from the previous photos, demonstrating that even the smaller cats move across the rugged Arizona landscape.

Read the rest of this UANews article published December 20 at http://uanews.org/story/wildlife-monitoring-cameras-click-jaguar-and-ocelot-photos

Date released: 
Jan 10 2013
Contact: 
Kirk Emerson