Jaguar (Panthera onca) only living member of the genus Panthera native to the Americas. An adult Jaguar has a body length of up to 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) and a weight of up to 158 kg (348 lb), which makes it the largest cat in the Americas and the third largest in the world. Today the Jaguar species extends from core Southwestern United States across Mexico and much of Central America, the Amazon rainforest and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. It inhabits a variety of forested and open terrains, but its preferred habitat is tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest, wetlands and wooded regions.
How many Jaguar species are there? Classification of the Panthera onca
The Jaguar (Panthera onca) belongs to the big cat genus Panthera within the subfamily Pantherinae of the Felidae cat family. The scientific name for the Jaguar species, Panthera onca, is also known as the binomial name. Historically up to nine (9) Jaguar subspecies or classifications have been recognized;
- Panthera onca onca
- Panthera onca arizonensis
- Panthera onca centralis
- Panthera onca goldmani
- Panthera onca hernandesii
- Panthera onca palustris
- Panthera onca paraguensis
- Panthera onca peruviana
- Panthera onca veraecrucis
The jaguar is listed as Near Threatened in the IUCN/SSC Red List of Threatened Species. Meanwhile, in 2017, the Felidae taxonomy revision proposed that the Jaguar is a monotypic species which means that it had no subspecies as recent genetic studies found insufficient evidence to support any subspecies.
The taxonomy of cats has undergone considerable changes in the past, not only at the level of species and subspecies, but even at the level of genus. The classification presently used by the Cat Specialist Group was published in Wild Cats – Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan edited by K. Nowell and P. Jackson (published by IUCN 1996)