Northern Jaguar Project/Naturalia Gathering


photo courtesy of NJP/Naturalia

Last night my wife and I had the great pleasure of joining other local jaguar enthusiasts at a small get-together sponsored by The Northern Jaguar Project (NJP). Thank you Andrew and Diane for hosting this fabulous event! We had the privilege of meeting NJP’s Diana Hadley and Dr. Peter Warshall and Naturalia’s Juan Carlos Bravo. Juan Carlos and Peter gave a short PowerPoint presentation on NJP and Naturalia’s cooperation in Sonora and their efforts to expand the Northern Jaguar Reserve. Diana, Peter and Juan Carlos all shared tales from the Reserve and discussed their intention to eventually allow very limited and controlled ecotourism. Another topic of discussion was the relationship with the local ranchers. Especially intriguing was NJP/Naturalia’s program of paying the ranchers for particular wildlife photos taken on their property with cameras supplied by the project. There’s a sliding scale depending on the species, with the jaguar garnering the highest “reward”. The ranchers must agree to not kill predators on their property and it has become a point of pride to participate and win a monetary prize.

Education is also a vital part of NJP/Naturalia’s approach. Local school children are taught the importance of predators, especially the jaguar, and conservation in general. According to Juan Carlos, the program has been extremely successful.

To me, the most exciting news was of Naturalia’s recent collaboration with the Yaqui tribe in Sonora. Juan Carlos has built relationships with the Yaquis and there are plans afoot to biologically explore (in a minimally disruptive way), the diverse and largely unknown Sierra Bacatete. I will post more information as it becomes available to me.

NJP/Naturalia are in the midst of a time-sensitive fund raiser that seeks to complete the purchase of an additional 35,000 acres of precious Sonoran jaguar habitat. The deadline for raising over 3/4 of a million dollars is January 2008. I certainly urge anyone who loves jaguars, wildlife and wilderness to donate any amount.

15 Responses to “Northern Jaguar Project/Naturalia Gathering”

  1. jan Says:

    I was one of the other attendees at this event and I also want to thank Andrew and Diane for hosting it. I am trying to get KGNU to interview Diana Hadley or one of the other NJP people in order to get their message a wider audience

  2. swjags Says:

    Thanks Jan! The jags need all the help they can get. Fingers are crossed for success with KGNU.

  3. Monty Says:

    My question about potential Jaguar habitat pertains to the Big Bend region of Texas. There is about 2.5 million acres of “protected” lands in this area that includes Big Bend NP, Texas State Park, Black Gap Wildlife refuge & about 1 million acres in Mexico. Is this a potential viable area for Jaguar?

  4. swjags Says:

    Hi Monty- Thanks for your question. I honestly am not familiar w/ the Big Bend area of Texas. However, I do know that jaguars show a marked affinity for water or watercourses. See the quote below from the AZ G&F report on jaguar habitat in AZ. Is there sufficient water available in the Big Bend once you get away from the Rio Grande? Any biologists out there have an opinion? Bill
    While elevation may not limit the distribution of jaguars in Arizona, distance to water surely
    does and may provide an explanation to the wandering pattern of jaguars searching for suitable
    habitat. Sixty-four percent (16) of jaguars occurred within 5 km (3.1 mi) of perennial/intermittent
    creeks or rivers (Fig. 11A), 76% (19) within 10 km (6.2 mi), and 84% (21) within 20 km (12.4
    miles). Furthermore, 80% (20) of jaguars occurred within 2.5 km (1.6 mi) of a spring, and 96%
    (24) within 5 km (Fig. 11B). The close proximity of jaguars to springs was not surprising after
    viewing the density of springs in Arizona (Fig. 7). When springs and rivers/creeks were
    combined, 100% of the 25 Class 1 and 2 sighting records were within 10 km of a water source,
    which is much closer than anticipated by JAGHAB when establishing this criterion. While these
    proximities represented Euclidean distances (“as the crow flies”), and in mountainous terrain it
    could be considerably further, the relatively close proximity of jaguars to water potentially
    explains much about their distribution pattern in Arizona. River valleys might provide travel
    corridors for jaguars, along with higher prey densities, cooler air, and denser vegetation than
    surrounding habitats. Indeed, if jaguars can smell water from afar, they would never be that far
    from a water source providing they did not stray into the middle of the Sonoran or Mojave

  5. Put your money where your mouth is… « Southwest Jaguars Says:

    […] of Mexico where jaguars, ocelots, macaws and other wildlife thrives. For more info you can see my post from September 13th. Please do what you can. Many […]

  6. Pierre Says:

    I was not there but wish I could have. I find you work amazing. Thank you for caring. Also I wish you luck for the jaguar reserve. I’d be richer (I just got a new baby…) i would put my money where my mouth is. probably next time.
    Yes I woud be interested to hear more about the area of Big Bend as a potential jaguar area.
    Thank you

  7. swjags Says:

    Thanks, Pierre. The fight for jaguars and wild lands will never end so come back soon! Bill

  8. jesus Says:

    i live in hermosillo (capital city of sonora) i am attorney and very happy to see this forums about protecting wild life, i am already in contact with some people here and hoping to help in any possible way.

  9. swjags Says:

    Gracias Jesus! Please stop by again! Bill

  10. Larry Mc Daniel Says:

    Is it possible to visit the area?

  11. swjags Says:

    Hi Larry- as I understand it, the area is extremely rugged and not very “visitor friendly” (i.e. quite primitive) but both Diana and JC indicated that in the future they’d like to have the ability to have some carefully-controlled tourism. The main focus of the reserve is the integrity of the ecosystem and the protection of the wildlife and not with building an infrastructure for tourists. I’d suggest checking here or the Northern Jaguar Project website ( for any info along these lines.
    Thanks for visiting!

  12. jesus Says:

    yes larry it is possible to visit the area but its very dificult to get there i’ve done it with some friends who as me like the wildlife, and we have gonne kayakin the rio bavispe (also called rio yaqui) after “presa el novillo” and this year in march or may we will go where rio aros meet rio bavispe and kayak there. i really want to see or photo a jaguar on the wild, i know its almost imposible but a’ll give a try. i’ve seen pumas in the wild some times, so why not jaguar.

  13. jesus Says:

    i forgot, its beautiful to look up for deer and watch them drinkin water in the river side when you are kayakin, they dont see you coming because of the water sound and you can get about 15 or 20 feet close, before they jump and run

  14. Ron Says:

    I don’t know if the Texas Big Bend NOW has any jaguars but it use to have a few wander into the area. In the 1940’s and 1950’s there were hunting magazines that documented some hunts for them (I don’t approve of killing them) and one was killed near the Odessa Texas meter crater in about 1968…In the early 1970’s one was killed near Iraan, Texas by a deer hunter. It was thought they had wandered up from the Big Bend area. The one killed near Odessa made the newspaper but the one killed near Iraan didn’t to my knowledge…I had a cousin that was in Iraan when the hunter brought it into town …I think the guy who killed it didn’t know where he stood legally and so little news was made of it….. I know it was in the early 1970’s as my cousin hadn’t been back from Vietnam but a few years at the time.. … Again…I am not a hunter…Just my two cents worth from an old timer…At one time we did have Jaguars in Big Bend…

  15. mini-pelle occasion Says:

    mini pelle…

    […]Northern Jaguar Project/Naturalia Gathering « Southwest Jaguars[…]…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: