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Northern Jaguar Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Protection of Endangered Species, Wildlife Preservation & Protection, Wildlife Sanctuaries

Mission: The mission of the Northern Jaguar Project (NJP) is to preserve and recover the world's northernmost population of the jaguar, its unique natural habitats, and native wildlife under its protection as a flagship, keystone, and umbrella species.

Results: The 55,000-acre Northern Jaguar Reserve boasts the highest number of northern jaguar sightings over the last decade, including females and cubs. This is likely the source population for jaguars migrating north and returning to the U.S. The reserve provides a core sanctuary that features an unparalleled mix of natural communities and is the centerpiece of our ongoing work to protect, maintain, and improve quality wildlife habitat. NJP further works with ranchers, schools, and local communities to promote effective jaguar conservation.

Geographic areas served: U.S.-Mexico borderlands

Programs: Reserve guardianship and expansion, wildlife monitoring, community outreach, environmental education, habitat restoration

Community Stories

94 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I found the trip to the reserve rewarding in all respects and it left me with a very high regard for the NJP and its personnel (esp. Turtle, Randy). As someone very much concerned with the increasingly rapid rate of species extinction, I applaud any effort to preserve threatened and endangered animals (esp. large mammals). Personally, I cannot fathom how anyone could kill such a rare and beautiful creature as the jaguar and am encouraged by the new sighting in southern Arizona. However, I'm worried that that idiot Trump and his goddamned wall will make it increasingly difficult to establish and sustain a breeding population near the border, but am trying to be optimistic (something that is very difficult for me to do).

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had a chance to return to the reserve teaming up with NJP in Dec 2016/Jan 2017. While my first visit cemented a profound respect and admiration for NJP, on my most recent trip I came out with even richer set of experiences and information stemming from their successful work. Randy, Turtle, and Diana, whom I am most intimately connected with, but also the Sahuaripan hands on ground and logistical teams of support across the united states, continue to work tirelessly to promote, educate, reinforce, and push conservation efforts to new heights on both sides of the border. Community conservation efforts are keys to success that implant progress in future generations and The Northern Jaguar Project is tackling creative fronts in the progress of conservation. It is a pleasure to be connected to such an incredible organization and looking forward to seeing more measures of success in the fight for conservation.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I could not possibly write enough positive words as I look back on my time in the reserve. My gratitude and appreciation for having me photograph the reserve was a remarkably rewarding experience. Not only was the physical nature of the reserve a magical sanctuary for a very special collection of life, but the passionate individuals involved in the project are equally as impactful. It was a privilege to intimately learn the land, the animals, the history, the day to day structure, and future goals of the organization.

Taking in the life and landscapes in the reserve was a breathtaking experience at all hours. The omnipresent green growth enraptured every inch of ground. The juxtaposition of desert and jungle life is a remarkable interaction I have never previously seen. I did not have any expectations and the mountains moved me. It is certainly one of the most if not the most beautifully, inhospitable regions I have ever visited. Life was abound in every corner, from the macro fauna to large mammals and bite sized campsite visitors welcomed or not. Starting ours days with the sky bleeding and ending our hikes in a purple hue with the sound of thunder over the mountains, Mother Nature provided a very diverse set of visuals.

I am extremely thankful for this opportunity. I really appreciated learning the roots of the organization, how they operate on the ground, and the dedication the organization puts forward to be constantly working to move this conservation effort to even greater heights. I look forward to hearing and seeing the successes, partnerships, and future acquisitions that can assist in NJP's conservation goals.

Thank you very much,
Brendon Kahn

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Northern Jaguar Project group has been offering free classes at REI over the past year and has been educating southern Arizona about restoring safe habitats for jaguars and showcasing their incredible reserve in northern Sonora, Mexico.

Just in the past few months alone the NJP has helped to track a number of jaguars as they roam through the mountains scattered around us. Thank you to the NJP for protecting these incredible cats!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have been working with the Northern Jaguar Project on our new exhibit at the Elmwood Park Zoo, and they are wonderful! They do really excellent work for the conservation of natural habitat of the jaguar in the American southwest, and Mexico. They are easy to work with, and have a kind and dedicated staff.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was fortunate to visit the Northern Jaguar Reserve last fall on a week long trip. The Reserve is a wonderful success story of converting land that had been denuded from cattle grazing and returning it to its natural state. This encourages the return of the jaguars, other cats, as well as numerous birds, mammals, reptiles, etc. It was awesome traveling in an area that is relatively pristine and wild. One can imagine what it was like before humans changed the landscape. The NJP has an influence far beyond the Reserve, by encouraging ranchers to practice jaguar friendly ranching. The incentive is payment for each cat photographed on remote cameras located on their land. This results in the return of wildlife, such as deer, which means jaguars and pumas don't need to prey on cattle, as their native prey is sufficient. It is a win-win for all. NJP also provides education in the area, creating future citizens that will value wildlife and maintaining an ecological balance. This is all done with a very small and dedicated staff and volunteers. One certainly gets full value for any donation, as there is almost no overhead cost.

Mike I.

Donor

Rating: 5

How can you beat Excellent ?

Our world is becoming a more crowded place with less room in it for beautiful animals like the Jaguar, and yet NJP has found a way to preserve a key corridor area in Northern Sonora.

I have visited the Reserve ( in Oct of '16 ) and then also attended a series of lectures given at REI as a part of educational outreach that Turtle had setup. The Reserve is stunning and the talks ranged over everything from plants, animals, reptiles, birds and hydrology of the Reserve and how well the Conservation mission is proceeding.

The Staff is dedicated to the protection mission. They have scientific support and local buy-in of ranchers and the adjoining community of Sahuaripa. Having visited the Reserve, I don't see how you could make the overhead any less ... it really is a bare bones, no fat, just muscle organization.

A Donor's dollar goes a long ways with NJP and it's worthy of your support.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

NJP is a gem that stands out in a world with many good worthy nonprofits. With a very small staff they are doing fund raising, maintaining the land in Sonora, keeping vehicles running, fixing fences and roads, negotiating with neighboring ranchers, working with Sonoran community leaders, and doing the science needed to understand how well the approach is working. I was lucky to be able to go and visit the Reserve from Oct 9 to Oct 15 of this year and am just amazed at the beauty of the place that they are protecting, a land with a variety of other animals besides the jaguars, with running streams, lava flows and a diverse mixture of plants and biomes and geology. NJP has a great approach, they are squeezing the maximum benefit out of every donor dollar and have proven that they do conservation right. They have plans to expand the reserve, increase the collaboration and community buy-in's and to keep the Reserve going into perpetuity and are very deserving of your support.

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Nature_Girl

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Seeing the dedication of everyone working with the Northern Jaguar Project first hand has been a rewarding opportunity. As an intern I shadowed the biologists in the field doing everything from checking camera traps to maintaining rancher relationships. The terrain is rugged and unforgiving, but seeing the hard work pay off is extremely fulfilling. I will always be grateful for my time spent in the field beside such dedicated people who not only love these amazing predators, but the landscape these cats, and other fauna, call home.

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm so impressed by the motivation of everyone involved with NJP! This organization genuinely cares for the conservation of the Jaguar and understands of an impressively deep level the impact these conservation efforts have on it's surrounding communities and the environment, among many other things! NJP is also quite clearly an innovation hub for co-collaborative efforts to increase community awareness. They're not only putting money and effort into expanding their reserve and conservation efforts, but also into education and partnership. So grateful for the energy and love they put into conservation of the undeniably beautiful jaguar and the reserve!

masuda

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for the Northern Jaguar Project until I moved from Arizona. During that time, I saw the dedication of all the people working for the Northern Jaguar Project. They have succeeded in creating a habitat for jaguars as well as other wildlife and vegetation. They have worked with communities nearby to protect this habitat and have strengthened their ties with the ranchers and communities that border the Reserve. Because of their effort, the reserve and surrounding ranches support the survival of the jaguar as well as the other wildlife and plants that are flourishing.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an excellent nonprofit. They are conserving habitat for jaguars and other wildlife. The people who work for this organization are very dedicated and their work has produced great results. One can see photos of the jaguars and other wildlife that thrive at the reserve and protected areas nearby.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member I am extremely proud to know that I am working with such a passionate and determined group of individuals who care deeply about protecting northern jaguars and the breathtaking habitat they live in. It is an honor to be a part of such a special cause.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

It's such an honor to work with this wonderful organization that cares so deeply about preserving not only Jaguars but the breath taking habitat they live in.

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McNair E.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was lucky enough to tag along w/ NJP on a Sept. 2016 visit to their remote reserve in Sonora, Mexico. We witnessed the impact of their work first hand through community visits, environmental restoration, and conversations with local conservationist. They are truly cultivating a cultural of environmental awareness and protection for a critically threatened species and ecosystem.

Donor

Rating: 5

Northern Jaguar Project makes it happen for jaguars. They buy land to protect jaguars. They work to build relationships with communities and ranchers in northern Sonora, Mexico just south of the US border. They pay ranchers when a jaguar is photographed by wildlife cameras out on their land. So smart! Money donated to Northern Jaguar Project actually helps jaguars.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I am so proud that Northern Jaguar Project (NJP) is based in Tucson. I hope someday that southern Arizona will once again be the home to breeding jaguars. In the meantime, NJP is securing the northern most jaguar population in northern Mexico by preserving land and working with Mexican ranchers. NJP is doing such important conservation work for this important carnivore that I have named NJP as a beneficiary in my IRA.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a nature lover and a lover of beauty, I am grateful to have cross paths with NJP as their work conserves the beauty of nature. Their service to mother earth and all its inhabitants, including Jaguars, is truly remarkable. I have had the pleasure of attending two educational talks from NJP at the Seattle Zoo and at REI in Tucson which I have learned more than I ever thought I could know about Jaguars, sustainable ecosystems, community partnership, global accountability, and most importantly Passion. I have never been on the reserve but the documented beauty of the landscape, the thriving ecosystem, and the exemplary Love demonstrated by the staff of NJP for their work are without a doubt inspiring. I am amazed of what NJP is doing and I am proud to support their efforts to conserve the true beauty of Nature, that is within all of us, which we call our home. J. Zapanta - Colorado

Donor

Rating: 5

As a long time conservation donor, I’ve become increasingly selective in directing my contributions to small, lean, and energetic organizations with deep experience in targeted projects. The Northern Jaguar Project is just such an organization. Focusing on jaguars as an ‘umbrella species’, the group both buys ranch lands and develops alliances with practicing ranchers, in order to protect jaguars and cohabiting species in a huge, remote, and remarkably pristine landscape in east-central Sonora, Mexico. Their Viviendo con Felinos program (a possible model for wolf reintroductions?) pays ranchers for jaguar images captured on trail cameras, and thus encourages protection, rather than elimination, of these top predators. Local cowboys (vaqueros) with extensive knowledge of the habitat, and locally trained biologists, are trained to service trail cameras and recognize cat sign on the organization’s private lands, and the cowboys also maintain ranch infrastructure. Leadership of the group has extensive experience in ranching, conservation, and the targeted geographic area. Successful breeding of jaguars is well documented, and the large area of extremely isolated and suitable jaguar habitat makes this a potential source area for cats (ocelot as well as jaguar) that might eventually contribute to breeding populations in the U.S. On a recent trip to the NJP Reserve (August, 2016), I verified first hand that my donations are put to good use and not wasted on unnecessary overhead.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Northern Jaguar Project is a wonderful organization that my company has had the pleasure of collaborating with and supporting when possible. They are extremely passionate about their mission and we truly admire their accomplishments in both public education and tangible conservation gains on the ground. I fully support their efforts and will be eagerly following along as they make progress in preserving habitat and restoring the historic range of a species that is so emblematic of our region’s rich biological diversity.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Northern Jaguar Project is highly professional and passionate nonprofit protecting a large region of native species in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Their passion for conservation and education is leading to real positive changes in the region. Truly a great cause and nonprofit.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Conservation effort at its finest. Great group working for a fantastic cause.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended the Northern Jaguar Project (NJP) presentation at the REI store community room on May 4, 2016. For me, it was an astounding evening-while I had heard about the NJP many times, it was my first close-up opportunity to see and hear (in detail) the full extent of the research and experience of their work, accompanied by breathtaking digital images of Jaguars and other mammals in their natural environment. During a time of declining and destroyed habitats, the NJP Reserve is like a breath of fresh air. The organization, as a non-profit, is stellar. Their accomplishments in just a few short years is amazing. The focus of observing and documenting Jaguars (and other mammals) is unique, and the multinational alliance with Conservationist's in Mexico laudable. Their dedication, working with the local ranchers, speaks to the people skills and good will that such a massive project requires. The Reserve is isolated, which supports the type of scientific study needed, and from what I heard, everyone in the NJP contributes in many and needed ways. Such excellent scientific research is desperately needed, and the NJP is fully engaged in doing exemplary work from top to bottom. The talent of all of the staff and volunteers is indeed amazing, and for such a worthy cause. The Jaguar, as an apex predator, has suffered immeasurable harm in the late 19th century, being exterminated from the U.S. by zealous cattle ranchers and related activities. To study the Northernmost breeding population in Sonora, in an isolated ecosystem, is a unusual and profound gift. I can't say enough good things about the NJP, and will endeavor to become an on site volunteer-it will be a privilege and honor for me as a life-long naturalist. The corollary gift is the ability to study not only the Jaguar habitat, but the rest of the flora and fauna as well. The value, in terms of pure science, is without peer. Their superlative work needs to continue and grow, now and for as long as possible. Again, their value is without peer.

Michael D. Van Buskirk, Tucson, Arizona

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a free lance journalist, educator (University of New Mexico, Valencia Campus) and poet.
I have been concerned for environmental issues for decades, but I claim no special expertise in that area.

In February, 2016, I travelled from Albuquerque to the Northern Jaguar Project offices in Tucson, Arizona and in Sahuaripa, Sonora, Mexico, and then, hosted by NJP staffers Turtle and Randy and their expert colleagues and allies, onto the NJP Reserve lands in the mountainous areas of Sonora.
I embarked on this visit at a friend's invitation, myself knowing little about the Project and having only a vague understanding of the role and status of the jaguar population in northern Mexico and southwest USA.
At week's end, I had learned so much that I am still processing my new knowledge about the project, its goals and accomplishments, and the vital place of the jaguars and other animals in the ecology and social reality of this part of North America.
Indeed this visit was a graduate level course on those subjects, somehow crammed into a week's delightful journey over rugged roads and hidden hiking trails into one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever entered and enjoyed.
I found the NJP staff to be uniquely qualified and effective in their work, both on the ground in Sonora where Project Manager Randy West devotes himself heroically to winning over the good people of Sonora to the effort to protect the big cats and their environment and to actual maintenance of the wild environment where the big cats roam. The NJP made an excellent decision in appointing Randy to this crucial job.
Likewise, I was extremely impressed by my observations of the knowledge and intense dedication of NJP staffers Turtle, Diana and their colleagues both in Mexico and at their organizational headquarters in Tucson. And the beautiful mural which artists and school children have painted on a prominent public wall in Sahuaripa speaks volumes about the acceptance of NJP into the evolving Mexico society where NJP is making an undeniably positive contribution.
I could go on, and I am glad to answer any questions readers here may have, but suffice it to say I endorse and applaud the ongoing work of the Northern Jaguar Project and I intend to help them in any ways that I can as they continue from strength to strength in coming years.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I was privileged to visit NJP's Jaguar Preserve recently with several other donors and two staff members. The rugged, remote beauty of the area is at once peaceful and adrenaline-pumping, as is the possibility of encountering one of the big cats (and other exotic wildlife) at any turn in the trail. (No live encounters on this trip, but we did see evidence of their presence in several places.) I was perhaps most impressed by how the organization has developed their program in cooperation with and support of local ranchers and other residents. One of the staffers who led us, Randy, actually lives near the preserve most of the time. The other staffer, Turtle, works primarily out of Tucson, where NJP is based, as is Executive Director Diana Hadley. These folks work extremely hard to move closer to their goal of protecting the Northern Jaguar, a magnificent creature. I encourage anyone with even the slightest interest to see how you can get involved. Steve Dibble, Tucson