Extinct Species Suddenly Returns, Seen Hunting In The United States

By Christopher Isaac | Published

It seems like every year, there are new stories about some species of animal or plant being driven to extinction. And honestly, there has been plenty of research done stating that if humans do not start changing a lot about how we treat the environment, losing a lot of the variety of our ecosystems is pretty much certain. So it is an encouraging change of pace to be able to share that what was once considered an extinct species has now begun to return. Conservationists were recently shocked to find a wild jaguar had been spotted roaming around in Arizona.

Jaguar Hunted In United States

Like many predator animals not only in our country but worldwide, the jaguar has been hunted ruthlessly by humans over the years.

Many took great pride in being able to stand over some of nature’s most dangerous animals and to be able to say a human conquered this beast.

The end result was that jaguars that had once been common in America’s southwest regions had been killed off to the point of being labeled an extinct species.

Jaguars Not Seen In Years

It has not been since the 1960s that jaguars could reliably be seen in some states due to how low their numbers had dwindled.

Their return now is a very exciting sight that gives hope that maybe the species could rebound and repopulate.

However, conservationists are also realistic that jaguars face even more obstacles than in the past to keep them from returning to being considered an extinct species.

Different Problems For Jaguars


For one, humans have only continued to multiply since the ‘60s, which means more natural land has been turned into streets, suburbs, and shopping centers.

This means the modern-day jaguar has less room to roam, establish safe areas to rest, and fewer locations to hunt and find available drinking water. Jaguars are not the only extinct species that human advancement has created.

The ecosystem for current jaguars is going to be vastly different than what they had to enjoy 60 years ago. It may be much more difficult for jaguars to find natural prey for their food now.

Climate Change An Issue As Well

earth dying

There is also the reality that climate change has made survival much more of a challenge for many animals.

Polar bears are another creature feared to be on the verge of becoming an extinct species due to how warm arctic areas have become.

The ideal temperature for a jaguar’s survival is likely more of a rarity with today’s far more extreme summer and winter weather conditions. In many ways, jaguars do still have the deck stacked against them for their odds of long-term survival.

Promising Start


However, these sightings that have occurred along the borders of the United States and Mexico are a promising start.

If jaguars are still finding ways to survive despite all the harsh conditions they have had to endure, perhaps there is a chance they can be saved from truly becoming a permanently extinct species.

Jaguar Resurgence


Conservationists note that much of that will depend on the acts of humans, and whether we choose to protect the existing habitats that jaguars have remaining.

Whether or not we choose to intervene for good could determine whether these latest jaguar sightings are a resurgence of the species, or a fleeting final look at the great cats.

Source: The Guardian