The Belize Jaguar

Share Button


Photo by Wikipedia

The Jaguar is the largest and most powerful cat in the Western Hemisphere, and the third largest of the roaring cats (Panthera). They are found throughout Belize in the lowland forests and along the coasts. Adult jaguars are solitary and only come together for a short time to breed. The size of a jaguars territory depends on food availability. In a forest such as the Cockscomb Basin, a jaguar will roam over a territory of about 20 square kilometers.

Jaguars hunt mainly on the ground and mainly at night. Its food consists of everything from mice to birds to tapir. Across it's range in the Americas, the Jaguar has been known to hunt 87 species of prey, sometimes including tapirs and crocodiles! Its favorite prey items in Belize include armadillos, pacas, and peccaries. Unlike other wildcats, the Jaguars prefer to kill prey with a single bite to the skull; they posses the most powerful jaws of all the big cats.

Jaguars once lived throughout the Americas, from Arizona to the north to Argentina in the south. But hunting and deforestation has reduced their numbers and forced them out of their habitat into interaction with man. Belize has one of the healthiest populations in Central America, and the Jaguar is protected from hunting throughout Belize.

Like leopards, jaguars may also be born with melanistic (black) coats, though the rosette patterns are still visible below. These cats are commonly referred to as "panthers," but do not differ from normal jaguars in species.

Key Facts

Length: 6 feet + 30" tail
Weight: 100 - 250 lbs.

Reach Maturity: 3 Years
Mating: Non-seasonal
Gestation: ~100 days
No. of Young: 1-4 cubs

Habitat: Lowland forests.Solitary.
Food: Ground-living mammals, fish, frogs, turtles
Lifespan: 12-15 years in the wild; 20-25 years in captivity


Posted in Belize ToursTagged animals of belize, belize cats, belize jaguar, belize zoo, cats of belize, cockscomb basin wildlife sanctuary, jaguar in belize

Facebook Comments


* indicates required