They range from Southern Arizona and New Mexico south toward northern Argentina and north-eastern Brazil. The black jaguar (Black Panther) is the same as a regular jaguar except for its colouring. Black Jaguar is not a different species, or kind, of the jaguar. They are a rare colour variant of Jaguars that occur due to the production of large amounts of dark pigment melanin in the animal’s fur and skin. The term Black Panther is most frequently applied to Black Coated leopards (Panthera pardus) of Africa, Asia and Jaguars (Panthera onca) of South America, Black-furred variants of these species are also called Black Jaguars respectively. Jaguars are bigger and bulkier than leopards. They can grow up to 170cm long, not including their impressive tails which can be up to 80cm.The word 'jaguar' comes from the indigenous word 'yaguar', which means 'he who kills with one leap'. Jaguars are the only big cat in the Americas and the third biggest in the world after tigers and lions. They look a lot like leopards, which live in Africa and Asia, but jaguars’ spots are more complex and often have a dot in the centre.
They are top predators and considered a keystone species because of their impact on the populations of other animals in the ecosystem. Humans are the primary predators of Jaguars. Jaguars are victims of illegal poaching by humans, illegal pet trade, habitat destruction. Action is required to reduce forest habitat loss and degradation which will also enable the jaguar’s prey base to recover. Educating communities and implementing improved livestock protection will also diminish human-jaguar conflict and encourage co-existence. Strengthening anti-poaching legislation will also protect future generations of jaguars.