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Jaguars in Argentine Chaco on verge of local extinction

January 2, 2014

A jungle scientist

This article was written for the environmental news website mongabay.com, and the original can be found here.
The majestic jaguar (Panthera onca), the largest of the New World cats, is found as far north as the southern states of the US, and as far south as northern Argentina. In the past jaguars ranged 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) further south, but their range has shrunk as habitat loss and human disturbance have increased. Overall, jaguars are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN, but the level of risk facing jaguars varies by region. Populations in Argentina, at the present-day southern range limit, have previously been identified as some of the most threatened of them all.

The Chaco is considered home to the largest Argentine population, but the inaccessibility of the region has meant that until recently very little was known about the exact status of the population here…

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