In Search of the Jaguar

A National Geographic Video

Alan Rabinowitz, PhD is the President and CEO of Panthera, a nonprofit conservation organization devoted to protecting the world’s 36 wild cat species. Dr Rabinowitz is one of the world’s leading big cat experts, and has been called The Indiana Jones of Wildlife Conservation by TIME Magazine. His work in Belize resulted in the world’s first jaguar sanctuary, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Quick Jaguar Facts

The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas. The jaguar has a compact body, a broad head and powerful jaws. Its coat is normally yellow and tan, but the color can vary from reddish brown to black. The spots on the coat are more solid and black on the head and neck and become larger rosette-shaped patterns along the side and back of the body.

  1. Height: 2¼ – 2½ feet (.69 – 76m).
  2. Length: 5½ – 8 feet (1.7 – 2.4m) from nose to tip of tail.
  3. Weight: 100 – 250 lbs (45 – 113 kg).
  4. Lifespan: 15 to 20 years.
  5. Reproduction
    1. Mating Season: Occurs year-round.
    2. Gestation: 90 -110 days.
    3. Litter size: 1 – 4 kittens. Kittens stay with their mother from 1 – 1.5 years.


Jaguars are known to eat deer, peccary, crocodiles, snakes, monkeys, deer, sloths, tapirs, turtles, eggs, frogs, fish and anything else it can catch.


Human population growth and agricultural expansion, as well as hunting and poaching by livestock ranchers. They are considered endangered throughout their entire range.

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