Status and Distribution of Jaguarundi in Texas and Northeastern México: Making the Case for Extirpation and Initiation of Recovery in the United States

Author(s): Jason V. Lombardi, Aaron M. Haines, G. Wesley Watts, III, Lonnie I. Grassman, Jr., Jan E. Janečka, Arturo Caso, Sasha Carvaja, Zachary M. Wardle, Thomas J. Yamashita, W. Chad Stasey, Aidan B. Branney, Daniel G. Scognamillo, Tyler A. Campbell, John H. Young, Jr., and Michael E. Tewes
Published: March 2022

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The jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) is a small felid with a historical range from central Argentina through southern Texas. Information on the current distribution of this reclusive species is needed to inform recovery strategies in the United States where its last record was in 1986 in Texas. From 2003 to 2021, we conducted camera-trap surveys across southern Texas and northern Tamaulipas, México to survey for medium-sized wild cats (i.e., ocelots [Leopardus pardalis], bobcats [Lynx rufus], and jaguarundi). Based on survey effort and results from México, we would have expected to detect jaguarundis over the course of the study if still extant in Texas. We recommend that state and federal agencies consider jaguarundis as extirpated from the United States and initiate recovery actions as mandated in the federal jaguarundi recovery plan. These recovery actions include identification of suitable habitat in Texas, identification of robust populations in México, and re-introduction of the jaguarundi to Texas.

Suggested Citation

Lombardi, J. V., A. M. Haines, G. W. Watts, III, L. I. Grassman, Jr., J. E. Janečka, A. Caso, S. Carvajal, Z. M. Wardle, T. J. Yamashita, W. C. Stasey, A. B. Branney, D. G. Scognamillo, T. A. Campbell, J. H. Young, Jr., and M. E. Tewes. 2022. Status and distribution of jaguarundi in Texas and Northeastern México: Making the case for extirpation and initiation of recovery in the United States. Ecology and Evolution, 12.

Ocelot Conservation