Why is the jaguar in danger of extinction?

Jonah Lester

The jaguar is in danger of extinction mainly due to the loss of its natural habitat in favor of man. This causes it to lose the possibility of feeding on its main prey and of reproducing..

This feline is the largest in America and is considered a source of strength by some cultures. It is without a doubt a beauty of nature.

The jaguar is one of the fiercest predators that exist and that inhabit jungle areas, especially in Central and South America. Some cultures revere it as a religious symbol and have dressed their skins.

It is estimated that there are only around 50,000 adult jaguars left in the world, making them an endangered species. Unfortunately, this number continues to decline and this is due to several reasons, such as poaching and afforestation..

Article index

  • 1 Reasons why the jaguar is in danger of extinction
    • 1.1 Illegal hunting
    • 1.2 Livestock
    • 1.3 Urban development
    • 1.4 Food
  • 2 Current situation
    • 2.1 Mexico
    • 2.2 Central America
  • 3 References

Reasons why the jaguar is in danger of extinction

Illegal hunting

According to some studies, jaguars have been hunted for many years for their skin and by people who claim them as trophies..  

This has caused the jaguar population to decrease dramatically and that is why some laws have already been implemented to protect it..

It is almost impossible to stop illegal hunters, as there is still a lot of land without authority and because there are many people who are willing to pay a lot of cash for the bodies and skins of these beautiful animals..

Cattle raising

Another reason why the jaguar is in danger of extinction is because ranchers have chosen to expand their operations and end up destroying the natural habitat of the jaguars..

Some ranchers have also chosen to hunt jaguars, as these can be a danger to their cows and their young..  

Little by little, the numbers of the jaguar have been decreasing, without anyone giving it much importance and without doing much about it.

Urban development

Urbanization and population growth have also been one of the causes. Urban developments such as subdivisions, houses, commercial buildings, roads and others, have caused the habitat of the jaguar to disappear little by little.

These animals have been forced to migrate and look for lands where they can be a little more protected and where they can find food, since urban development has also destroyed the habitat of many more species..


Wild boars and deer are the favorite food of jaguars, but because these are also rare in the region, jaguars have increasing feeding and reproduction problems..

This is another reason why the jaguar is in danger of extinction and if it continues like this, these animals will have serious problems.

Current situation


The density of the jaguar in Mexico is estimated to be 0.75 to 6 adults per 100 km² (Ceballos et al. 2011, Chavez et al. 2016), being the population in the Mayan Forest of the Yucatan Peninsula of about 2000 individuals (Ceballos et al. in press, Rodriguez-Soto et al. 2013).

In the Lacandon Jungle the density is estimated to be 1.7-4.6 km², with a population of 62 to 168 jaguars (de la Torre and Medellín 2011). 

In 2011, the total population of Mexico was estimated at 4,000 to 5,000 individuals (Ceballos et al. in press). 

Central America

According to 27 studies conducted from 2000 to 2010 in Mesoamerica, the population is estimated to be between 0.74 to 11.2 / 100 km² (Maffei et al.2011).

The density in the Rainforest of Belize is estimated between 7.5-8.8 / 100 km² (Silver et al. 2004). 

Populations in protected areas of Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua are in danger and declining, due to deforestation and hunting (Petracca et al. 2014).

For more information consult this study.


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  2. Painter, T. (2017, April 24). Why Are Jaguars Endangered Animals? Retrieved September 6, 2017, from Why Are Jaguars Endangered Animals? (n.d.). Retrieved September 6, 2017, from sciencing.com
  3. Jaguar. (n.d.). Retrieved September 6, 2017, from ourendangeredworld.com
  4. THREATS TO JAGUARS. (n.d.). Retrieved September 6, 2017, from defenders.org
  5. Hanning, J. J. (2011, December 12). Saving the Jaguars. Retrieved September 6, 2017, from savingtheamazon.wordpress.com.
  6. National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC). 2018. Conservation status of the jaguar (Panthera onca) in Costa Rica through the integration of data from records of the species and modeling of the ideal habitat. MAPCOBIO-SINAC-JICA-Santo Domingo de Heredia project, Costa Rica.

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