Common Name: Jaguar
Range: The Jaguar is native to the Western Hemisphere, where it lives in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. It is available from the north Mexico to the northern Argentina. Although they were found initially across the whole continents and even into the southern states of the USA but they are now limited to remote pockets of tropical forest mostly in the humid Amazon Basin. They can be found in the national parks of Costa Rica such as Tortuguero National Park, Corcovado National Park, Santa Rosa National Park, Rio Macho Forest Preserve and lower Cordillera Talamanca, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve; La Selva, it may be found in San Jose, San Vito also.
Size: The Jaguar is the 3rd largest feline, after the lion and the tiger. They can achieve a body length between 1.1 and 1.9 meter (3.5 – 6.25 feet), tail length between 45 and 75 centimeters (18 – 30 inches). Normally females are 20% smaller than males and they usually differ in size according to their range and distribution, they tend to increase in length and height from North to South.
Weight: The Jaguar weighs between 36 and 160 kilo. The Male normally has a weight 90-120 kg and the female has a weight 60-90.
Diet: The Jaguar is a carnivore and their diets mainly consist of deer, peccaries, caimans, tapirs, sloth, monkeys, reptiles, fish, and domestic animals. After killing it prey they will drag it the prey to a secluded spot to eat it. They have such strength that they can carry a large kill while swimming and hauling a large kill into a tree.
Average life span: The average lifespan has a Jaguar is 12 years in Jungle and 20 years in captivity.
Habitat: The Jaguar normally lives in forests, swamps but they also can be found in woodlands and grasslands of Central and South America. They prefer areas that are dense and close to water. They live at high trees in tropical rainforest of Costa Rica. The highest population of Jaguars is available in the Amazon Basin. They are available only in the dense forest of Costa Rica. The Nicoya Peninsula, in the sourthren Pacific near Golfo Dulce is the good habitat of Jaguar.
Breeding/Reproduction: Jaguars are solitary, apart from a mother with cubs, and they only at the time of mating. They have territories between 20 to 50 miles. Females become sexually mature at 2 years of age while males reach sexual maturity between 3 and 4 years of age. Jaguars mate throughout the year and after mating the pair go their separate ways, with the female preferring to do all of the parenting herself.
The jaguars like privacy and males share their territory with the several females they mate with. Sometime it can be a dozen also. This keeps the females from mating with other males.
After having a gestation period of 91 – 111 days 1 – 5 cubs, normally 2 are born in a cave. These are born blind and helpless; they get sight within 14 days. The cubs are weaned at 3 months old but they stay remain in the birth hideout for 6 months, after which they start to accompany their mother while she hunts.
The cubs stay in the company of their mother until they are between 1 and 2 years of age after which they leave to find their own territory.
In tropical areas, where light and humidity remain pretty constant through the seasons, birthing can take place any time through the year. Where the climate is more extreme, births tend to happen only during the so, there are exceptions.
When the animal is in heat, its roars are heard more frequently than during the rest of the year; the female calls the male and this answers very loudly. Mating also takes place among loud and continuous roars. Apparently this takes place after the female poses prolonged resistance. Where coupling took place the vegetation appears torn and crushed down.
Jaguar is the large specie of cats and is found in Costa Rica. It has a yellowish brown coat with black spots and has a white stomach. It has a larger size than other cats but the tail is relatively small. It is the largest of all the carnivores of Costa Rica.
Jaguars need a lot of space to live. They can’t live on small areas. When they are protected a lot of other species are automatically protected due to their requirement of big areas. Their area automatically covers the areas of many other species.
They often scratch the trees. They mark territories but it is still not confirmed that their territories are marked by these scratches or by urine.
Costa Rica jaguars eat monkeys, birds, deer and other animals. They can eat dead animals as well. They do not attack human beings excluding rare cases but follow the scent of humans.
Jaguar never waste their prey. They eat their prey fully and make sure that nothing is left in it. Only after one prey has been finished then they attack another. Such behavior is good for the animals that are their prey.
The males have a weight of 50-100 kg and females have much less weight than males.
In Costa Rica the jaguars’ population is mostly destroyed by hunting and also by removing of trees. Deforesting is a great threat to their survival.
Jaguars in Costa Rica are rarely seen in the daytime. They are mostly seen at night as they go for hunting at night. They are quite shy.
Females can be called as matures when they reach three years of age. Then they can mate with males and produce offspring.
They take three months for giving birth to offspring and produce two offerings at a time. Only females take care of their offspring and males do not help the females in their growth.
Jaguars are mostly killed by farmers as they attack their cattle. In Costa Rica it is the main cause of their being killed. The water resources are shared which make them to interact them with cattle. The farmers have to kill them to save their animals as with them they earn food for them and their families.
Jaguars can be protected by providing them with extra resources of water so that they don’t interact with cattle and are not killed by the farmers.
Another idea of protecting them is to provide the farmers with the cattle if they are killed by jaguars. This way the farmers will not kill the species as they know they will get more animals.
The third idea is to provide the farmers with the information of jaguars reaching them on proper time through internet.
The groups of wild life savers are trying hard to save these species. But farmers’ help is needed to protect them.