Macho B

Hi- I’m working on some Q&A’s so please be patient. I think you’ll find them interesting. In the meantime, here’s an odd shot of Macho B from Emil McCain’s cameras with the Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project. As you may know, biologists use the unique pattern of spots to identify individual jaguars. Here’s a close up of Macho B’s right side “Pinocchio”.


17 Responses to “Macho B”

  1. Chris Says:

    I am doing a report on the Macho B and I need important information to make a good grade. What are some interesting, yet key facts that I can add about the Macho B?

  2. swjags Says:

    Hi Chris- I’d suggest looking at my post of October 12 and my very first post back in August- there are links to articles about Macho B and the work of the Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project ( Good luck!

  3. margaret Says:

    you must be having nightmares that he died from having that collar on.

    they should work on smaller collars

    • swjags Says:

      Thanks for visiting, Margaret. I think anyone who cares about wildlife was disturbed by what happened to Macho B ; it was a horrible thing indeed. I don’t think the collar itself or its bulk caused his death. He was a very old cat and the stress of capture didn’t help things, but I think the capture team did their best. I agree that we should all encourage the use of the smallest possible collars for use on wild animals.

  4. envisionhope Says:

    Neat shot. It’s so interesting how the spots vary–their personal indentification cards.

  5. swjags Says:

    Indeed! When they released the picture of the “unidentified” jaguar wearing a collar we all knew it was Macho B by his unique spots. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  6. nanodelle Says:

    I am so sorry that Macho B, who may have already had kidney issues, was further stressed by capture, sedation, and radio-collaring, that he had to be euthanized.
    Among notable great, long-lived cats, Macho B ranks up there alongside Tjololo, the Mala Mala Reserve resident male leopard, and Charger, the Bandhavgarh National Park resident male tiger. All of these were superb animals, and are missed by many of us wildlife hounds.
    So…what can the public do, besides writing our legislators about not finishing (if it’s not too late already) the AZ-Mexico border fence? Which wildlife organizations have the best political clout, in your opinion?

  7. swjags Says:

    Hi Nanodelle- that’s a good point, I hadn’t thought of Macho B in those terms, but it certainly applies!
    I think putting pressure on our legislators is always an effective (if a tad boring) approach, so I would encourage that. Plus I would let my feelings be known to the AZ Game and Fish Dept and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. As for groups, I belong to several of them and they each have their own areas of expertise or specialization. The Center for Biological Diversity is a heavy-hitter (some would say heavy-handed) in the area of jag conservation and the Sky Island Alliance is another group worth looking in to. Some national groups like National Audubon and Defenders of Wildlife have strong jaguar programs. The Northern Jaguar Project and Naturalia are very strong in Mexico. However, if I was looking to support one group doing work on jaguars it would be Emil McCain and Jack Childs’ Borderlands Jaguar Detetction project ( They are the ones running the camera traps, looking for tracks and generally expanding our knowledge of jaguars in the SW, Macho B in particular. It’s a small operation and they can always use outside support.
    Thanks for visiting!

  8. nanodelle Says:

    Thanks, swjag.
    I also think “Dersu Uzala” brought up some really valid points in his commentary on Macho B’s death.
    It may be worth radiocollaring young jags, e.g., in Central Mexico, if the MX gov’t and wildlife organizations, like Naturalia, are willing to.
    If the jaguar stands any chance, in Mexico and Central America, let alone the US, there needs to be a practical method for studying its population, THEN more reserves may be set aside.
    I’m thinking that’s the approach that Alan Rabinowitz, George Schaller and other wild felid biologists might take.

  9. swjags Says:

    I think that’s correct, Nanodelle. More data, more info will always be more persuasive than saying, “they’re beatiful and we love them being here, so protect them.” Interesting to me is the fact that Alan Rabinowitz has been quite negative on his view of jags of AZ. He sees them as transient males living in marginal habitat at the far end of their range. Let’s hope for a pic of a female with cubs to shake things up a bit!!

  10. nanodelle Says:

    Hi swjags:
    What’s your take on the recent news of a pending criminal investigation into Macho B’s snaring and subsequent demise? Is it possible that in fact the snare was baited with female jag poop? I have read about this, and I am shaking my head. What in the world was this person (or persons) thinking? Common sense would dictate that you’d catch a male jaguar (Macho…who else?).
    The only “good” news in this whole ugly mess (and it is ugly, by any standard) is that a Fed. judge (Roll) has ordered that USF&W redirect its efforts to a.) develop a jaguar recovery plan and b.) to protect critical habitat, which USF&W had refused to do before.

  11. swjags Says:

    Hi nanodelle- well, I’m obvioulsy concerned about the allegations, especially since they are extremely serious (one doesn’t mess around w/ the Endangered Species Act). However, as I have said elsewhere, it’s important to wait and see what factual information comes out from the investigation. I certainly would not want my professional reputation ruined by some charges run in the paper. So that’s my first thought: let’s wait and see. Secondly, if there was wrongdoing then the people involved need to be punished. I don’t mean prison, but rather kicked out of any jaguar research in the US. The situation is so politically charged that anything less than complete transparency from fully trustworthy biologists and administrators will set the cause of jaguars back. Should those people named in the article prove to be innocent of any wrongdoing I believe they will be owed an apology from a number of sources and bloggers. Ok, so once that is done I think there are a number of things that could happen- for example, the USFWS could come back w/ a useful recovery plan and critical habitat boundaries. Or there could be a move to transplant jags to the US (unlikely, but possible). I don’t know what will happen but I do hope that the interest in Macho B will entice others to get involved in saving wild cats and wild lands. Fingers are crossed!

  12. nanodelle Says:

    Swags, I agree with you. This issue has become a political football. My hope is that the truth comes to light. The people involved may well deserve an earnest apology, and if so, I hope that they’re able to continue their work without repercussion, esp. if it helps wildlife conservation.
    (I read an article that said that the USF&W has until 2010 to come up with a recovery plan, inc. critical habitat, for jaguars in SW US….please correct me if I am mistaken.)

  13. swjags Says:

    Yes, it’s become ugly, that’s for sure. And unfortunately people can become a little over the top when it comes to charismatic megafauna!!
    You are correct: here’s the exact quote from the ruling :”The FWS determinations to
    not designate critical habitat or prepare a recovery plan are set aside, and this case is
    remanded to the FWS so that it may, consistent with this opinion, consider whether to
    designate critical habitat and prepare a recovery plan for the jaguar. The FWS shall make
    a determination as to critical habitat and recovery planning by January 8, 2010.” If you want to see the entire 30+ page document it’s at:

  14. Sandra Lassen Says:

    So what is this report that an agent of the AZFW reports YOU told her to place the jaguar scat next to the trap? No wonder you are justifying their actions? What was your purpose or is she lying? Perhaps when we see the official report from the Federal interview with you, we will learn more?

  15. Sandra Lassen Says:

    per the New York Times, “But a staff member of the Borderland Jaguar Detection Project, a group working with the department on jaguar conservation, said in an e-mail message on Friday that her boss — Emil McCain, the biologist working as a consultant for the department — in early February instructed her to place female jaguar scat within six feet of the leg-hold trap. The scat had been used several times to attract Macho B to come within camera range.”

    Perhaps they misquoted her?

  16. swjags Says:

    Thanks for commenting, Sandra. I’m afraid you have me confused with Emil McCain. If you read the “about” section of this blog you’ll see that I do this for the fun of it and I have no allegiance to any group. Emil’s web site is
    I will say that just because something is printed in the newspaper doesn’t make it factual. At this point it’s a case of dueling stories and until there’s more information I think it behooves everyone to ratchet it down a few notches and avoid slinging mud.

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