Valiant

BarbBarcikKeith

Maple Heights, United States

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Artist's Description

12×18 colored pencil on “Artagain” paper (a recycled paper product that is wonderful to work on). Original unavailable and in a private collection.

As of 09-23-17, 1834 views and 8 favorited.

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This portrait of a backlit South American Jaguar, was one of those pieces that almost did itself.

There is a big difference between the leopard and the jaguar.. for one, the leopard is not as bulky. And the really cool one is when you look at the spots on their coats, the jaguar has spots within the spots but the leopard doesn’t. The jaguar is also the only big cat of the New World.

Jaguar populations are currently declining. The animal is considered near-threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, meaning it may be threatened with extinction in the near future. The loss of parts of its range, including its virtual elimination from its historic northern areas and the increasing fragmentation of the remaining range, have contributed to this status. The 1960s saw particularly significant declines, with more than 15,000 jaguar skins brought out of the Brazilian Amazon yearly; the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of 1973 brought about a sharp decline in the pelt trade. Detailed work performed under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society reveal that the animal has lost 37% of its historic range, with its status unknown in an additional 18%. More encouragingly, the probability of long-term survival was considered high in 70% of its remaining range, particularly in the Amazon basin and the adjoining Gran Chaco and Pantanal.

The major risks to the jaguar include deforestation across its habitat, increasing competition for food with human beings, poaching, hurricanes in Northern parts of its range, and the behaviour of ranchers who will often kill the cat where it preys on livestock. When adapted to the prey, the jaguars has been shown to take cattle as a large portion of its diet; while land clearance for grazing is a problem for the species, the jaguar population may have increased when cattle were first introduced to South America as the animals took advantage of the new prey base. This willingness to take livestock has induced ranch owners to hire full-time jaguar hunters, and the cat is often shot on sight.

The Pantanal, Brazil in flood condition, a critical jaguar range area.The jaguar is regulated as an Appendix I species under CITES: all international trade in jaguars or their parts is prohibited. All hunting of jaguars is prohibited in Argentina, Belize, Colombia, French Guiana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, the United States (where it is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act), Uruguay and Venezuela. Hunting of jaguars is restricted to “problem animals” in Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru, while trophy hunting is still permitted in Bolivia. The species has no legal protection in Ecuador or Guyana.

Current conservation efforts often focus on educating ranch owners and promoting ecotourism. The jaguar is generally defined as an “umbrella species”—a species whose home range and habitat requirements are sufficiently broad that, if protected, numerous other species of smaller range will also be protected. Umbrella species serve as “mobile links” at the landscape scale, in the jaguar’s case through predation. Conservation organizations may thus focus on providing viable, connected habitat for the jaguar, with the knowledge that other species will also benefit.

Given the inaccessibility of much of the species’ range—particularly the central Amazon—estimating jaguar numbers is difficult. Researchers typically focus on particular bioregions, and thus species-wide analysis is scant. In 1991, 600–1,000 (the highest total) were estimated to be living in Belize. A year earlier, 125–180 jaguars were estimated to be living in Mexico’s 4,000 square kilometer (2400 mi²) Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, with another 350 in the state of Chiapas. The adjoining Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala, with an area measuring 15,000 square kilometers (9,000 mi²), may have 465–550 animals. Work employing GPS-telemetry in 2003 and 2004 found densities of only six to seven jaguars per 100 square kilometers in the critical Pantanal region, compared with 10 to 11 using traditional methods; this suggests that widely used sampling methods may inflate the actual numbers of cats. (information from Wikipedia)

  • Complete 08-09-2004 in 7.17 hours spread over 2 days

Artwork Comments

  • Shazza
  • BarbBarcikKeith
  • Carolyn Bishop
  • Jon C
  • whippedmama
  • Patricia Anne McCarty-Tamayo
  • artbyjehf
  • BigCatPhotos
  • BarbBarcikKeith
  • Errazi-Jalal
  • BarbBarcikKeith
  • Barb Miller
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