Unlike many other species, the jaguar faces no natural threat from rival cats or other predators -- with the exception of humans. At the height of their decline in the 1960s and 1970s, more than 15,000 jaguars were killed each year for their beautiful fur. While trade in jaguar fur has been reduced by consumer awareness campaigns, they continue to face pressure from hunters. In addition, the loss of habitat is increasing the frequency of contact between people and jaguars. There are believed to be 15,000 jaguars alive in the wild today. If jaguars are to exist in the future, scientists believe it will be through a combination of special protected areas and increased community awareness.
Jaguars are found in rainforests, seasonally flooded forests, grasslands, woodlands and dry deciduous forests throughout their range. Jaguars spend much of their time on the ground. They use their padded paws to move silently through the forest floor. Although not quite as agile as a leopard, jaguars are capable of climbing trees to hunt or to rest.