Jaguar In Arizona: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Jaguar In Arizona
Jaguar In Arizona: Everything You Need To Know

Arizona is a state with incredible landscapes and nature that you can explore as you exit ordinary everyday life. Arizona is also home to many large native wild cats. 

But are there jaguars in the state? 

In this article, I’ve explained everything you need to know about the jaguars in Arizona.

Are There Jaguars In Arizona?

Though there have been occasional reports of sightings of jaguars in Arizona, they are scarce and believed to be temporary individuals living in the state. This is because there is currently no native breeding population of jaguars in the state and the spotted ones are from the nearby states or Mexico. 

Historically they were present but due to habit loss, government-led hunting campaigns, and human interventions, they have become very uncommon in the state since the 1960s. Also, their habitat choices and area make it highly difficult for them to establish resident inhabitants in the state of Arizona.

Does Arizona Have Black Jaguars?

Black jaguar sightings have been documented in various states across the U.S., such as New Mexico, Texas, Southern California, and including Arizona. 

However, the sightings that are documented are quite hard to find the authenticity of sightings. It is also possible a few of the black panthers spotted can indeed be cougars with some black coloration or they might be even smaller wild cats like black-colored bobcats or jaguarundi.

Are There Jaguars In Phoenix?

Jaguar In Arizona
Jaguar In Arizona: Everything You Need To Know

Jaguars are mostly found in South and Central America, with the highest populations residing in Mexico. Though three have been a few reports of jaguars spotted crossing into Arizona from Mexico, they are believed to be temporary individuals.

Also, as Phoenix is situated in central Arizona, which is quite far from the natural habitat range of jaguars, it is highly doubtful for them to be present in Phoenix.

Also Check Our Guide On Jaguar In North America

Are Jaguars Coming Back In Arizona?

In 2003, the Northern Jaguar Project was introduced to conserve jaguars living near the borders of the U.S. and Mexico. With 10,000 acres of habitat as introduced in northern Mexico, they are isolated, hard to access, and fairly untouched, making them ideal habitats, for jaguars and other species. 

The long-term aspiration of the project is to make the jaguar return to the Southwestern U.S. and of which 30% of Arizona is believed to be a suitable habitat for them.

Also, though there are existing suitable areas in Arizona for jaguars, reintroduction is possible only with the cooperation of conservationists, local residents, and wildlife experts, of the state.

Jaguar Sightings In Arizona?

In November 2011, an adult male jaguar was spotted in Arizona. The jaguar was named El Jefe, also known as “the boss” in Spanish. He was first seen in the Whetstone Mountains and then in the Santa Rita Mountain region in Arizona. From 2011 to 2015, he was the only Jaguar in the U.S. after Macho B’s death. 

In 2016, another jaguar was seen in the Dos Cabezas Mountains, in many decades. In the same year on 1 December, another jaguar was captured on Fort Huachuca. In February 2017, the third jaguar was caught on camera in the Dos Cabezas Mountains.

How Many Jaguars Are In The Us?

Though there are many temporary inhabitants in the US, there is no confirmed number of the jaguar population in the US as there are no native breeding populations living in the nation. Currently, the only confirmed male jaguar living in the nation is the El Jefe. 

Can You Buy A Jaguar In Arizona?

You cannot own a Jaguar in Arizona as it is an endangered species and protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Any sale, possession, or purchase of these animals is strictly controlled to safeguard their illegal wildlife trade. 

Also, these regulations ensure their well-being of them in their natural habitats. If people are found involved in any illegal activities in regards to these animals then they will be fined or even imprisoned.

Also Check Our Guide On Jaguar In Florida


And that was everything you need to know about the Jaguars in Arizona. I hope this article was informative and your queries were answered.

Thank You For Reading!

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