Some books just don’t seem to garner the breadth of readership they deserve.  Here, we feature one such book that focuses on a key species — jaguars — that migrate between political boundaries, both literal and figurative.  

As you can see from the map below, jaguars have been known to move between Sonora, Mexico, and the states of Arizona and New Mexico.   Additional construction of the Border Wall may end this movement. 

For more information about jaguar conservation, one resource is the Center for Biological Diversity.  Connect to them here:   https://biologicaldiversity.org

 

“New Border Wall Construction Will Block All Jaguar Movement Corridors”, map by K. Clauser and D. Kadaba / Center for Biological Diversity

 

An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey

by Alan Rabinowitz

Published by Island Press, September 2014

Can you imagine setting the entire course of your professional life when you are just five years old?  A significant speech challenge early in life could have silenced the author, Alan Rabinowitz, but his empathy and compassion for the big cats gave him the courage to push forward.  Rabinowitz would travel the world, persuade politicians to establish protections for the jaguar and he would challenge convention in pursuit of scientific accuracy.  In doing so, Rabinowitz established the Jaguar Corridor Initiative.

 But the story doesn’t end there.  He continued to study the species in search of the “essence of jaguarness.”  Interestingly, not all of his revelations occur in the field.  Some resulted from reading older accounts of encounters with jaguars by others.  (He also lists these sources, prompting me to want to go and seek out those originals.)

The book is peppered with technical details such as studies of the jaguar’s skull-crushing strength, the ecology of their required habitat, jaguar DNA and lineage, and the cat’s role and relationship to the people who live and have lived alongside them across the centuries. 

The book also features 28 illustrated plates, a glossary of terms, and an excellent bibliography.

Why you should not miss this one:

  • as timely now as it was when first published
  • you’ll appreciate the challenges both the man, Rabinowitz, and the cats must overcome
  • the bibliography is a goldmine of follow-up reading about the species and jaguar conservation

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If you’d like to see a video of these elusive creatures, try this one:

Jaguar: The True King of the Jungle

Youtube video posted by Animalogic

~8 minutes — Mix of narrated in-field video and drawings that provide a quick but informative overview of the species. 

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