Close-up of jaguar looking into camera


Jaguars are formidable predators and eat a wide variety of prey, from large mammals such as deer, to fish and small birds. Their common name comes from the native Indian 'yaguara' meaning 'beast that kills its prey with one bound', since these remarkable cats typically attack their prey by pouncing on them from a concealed spot. Jaguars are the largest cats of the Americas, but despite genetic studies indicating there are no subspecies, they vary enormously in size within different regions.

Scientific name: Panthera onca

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Jaguar taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Jaguar can be found in a number of locations including: Amazon Rainforest, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Jaguar distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Near Threatened

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


BBC News about Jaguar