The habitat range of the jaguar extends from the southern United States to Patagonia in South America. Jaguars are found in Texas, the mountains of Arizona, the southern parts of California and New Mexico. They also inhabit the rain forests of South and Central America.
Jaguars prefer swampy savannas and lowland regions as well as tropical and subtropical rain forests. They make their home in small caves, under rock ledges and on soft ground and mountain scrub areas. Jaguars build their dens using leaves, bark and soft materials.
The jaguar’s declining population is due to logging, deforestation and cattle ranching that have taken a heavy toll on their natural habitat. Experts estimate that only 15,000 jaguars remain in the wild as of 2015. They have been almost completely eliminated from the United States and are considered to be endangered throughout their range.
Jaguars are solitary animals, living and hunting alone except during the breeding season. The jaguar’s typical home territory is about 19 to 53 square miles, with ranges of females overlapping.