The Arizona Game and Fish Department has posted on its Web site a videotaped copy of a news conference held on Thursday, March 5 in Tucson with its partners to provide more information and answer questions on the recently collared jaguar in southern Arizona. The news conference is available in its entirety by visiting http://www.azgfd.gov/video/ArizonaJaguarPressConference.shtml.
Participants in the news conference included: Bill Van Pelt, jaguar conservation biologist with the Game and Fish Department; Steve Spangle, Arizona Field Office Supervisor with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Dr. Dean Rice, the veterinarian from the Phoenix Zoo that performed the blood test and necropsy; and Arizona Game and Fish Commission Chairman Bob Hernbrode.
The jaguar was incidentally captured Feb. 18 in an area southwest of Tucson during a research study aimed at monitoring habitat connectivity for mountain lions and black bears. The cat was fitted with a satellite tracking collar and then released. It was hoped that the collar would provide biologists with a better understanding of how jaguars use the borderland habitats.
Initial location data indicated the jaguar was doing well and had moved more than three miles from the original capture site, but data monitoring more than a week later revealed a decreased level of activity. A response team was activated to assess the animal’s condition in the field. Due to weight loss, on March 2 the cat was brought immediately to the Phoenix Zoo for further medical assessment. It was determined then through blood tests that the jaguar was in severe and unrecoverable kidney failure, and the decision was made to euthanize the animal.
For more information about jaguar conservation in Arizona, visit http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/es/jaguar_management.shtml.