Wilderness & Linkages
NJP is working to identify and promote safe-passage corridors for jaguars to return to former habitat in the U.S. along the international border, and the Northern Jaguar Reserve is the major source for those wild cats moving north. Providing a crucial safe zone, the reserve acts as the centerpiece of regional conservation efforts and as a jaguar stronghold linking protected areas in Arizona, New Mexico, and Sonora.
On the U.S. side of the border, jaguars are protected on more than 800,000 acres of national forests, wildlife refuges, and private ranches with conservation agreements that prevent the killing of jaguars. In Mexico, 250,000 acres of permanently protected land – including private ranches and the Ajos-Bavispe National Forest Reserve and Wildlife Refuge – lie between the reserve and the border. Almost equidistant to the south and southwest, the Yaqui-protected Sierra Bacatete and the Sierra de Álamos-Río Cuchujaqui provide added wildlife habitat. We are working to identify additional conservation hotspots throughout Sonora and have had a mobile network of motion-triggered cameras scanning the region to gather information on wildlife populations and connectivity.