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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

34 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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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2

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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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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Northern Jaguar Project offered me an amazing opportunity to accompany the Jaguar Guardians as an intern Mid-Summer 2015. This opportunity offered me a chance to leave the country, learn and participate in their methods, and stay in the remote wilderness that is the Northern Jaguar Reserve. It was a fulfilling experience, and I am thankful for the opportunity to stay in this truly wild, semi-tropical, place. The conservation efforts of the NJP can be seen within the Reserve, and also with the relationship that is being formed with rancher in surrounding areas. Long term efforts such as these, in my humble opinion, give hope for preserving crucial wildlife habitat and changing the local ethic regarding the environment.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The preserve was only a few hours from a big city, but traveling to it your slowly transported to a different world. During the rain season all the mountains are covered in greenery and you understand why this is the perfect place as a sanctuary.
Working alongside of the guardians I was able to learn and understand how the animals move and live within the wild. The staff are extremely involved in the up keeping of the preserve, and everyone around has a true and pure kindness towards the environment in which they are protecting.
The ranchers and staff are true hero's, they are changing the world of the Jaguars and helping change our world for the better.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In an era where native habitats for critically endangered species are threatened and seemingly in decline everywhere, there is a 50,000 acre success story in Northern Mexico that gives hope to conservationists and life to the desert.

On a recent visit to the Northern Jaguar Reserve, I was struck by the drastic and visible difference between the land on the reserve and that of its neighbors. After only a few years without cattle grazing, and with some care from skilled and compassionate human hands, the Northern Jaguar Reserve has blossomed into a lush and truly wild landscape that transports visitors and residents (wild native species that is, of course there are no permanent human residents) alike back to a time when humans were not on the top of the food chain. For as the canyons and cliffs, rivers and steams, have returned with abundant desert life of all kinds, it is on this land that the largest population of jaguar (not to mention mountain lion, bobcat, and ocelot) north of the tropics has been able to survive. The vital work that NJP is doing in this area gives me hope that one day this population might again thrive.

The life of the desert and the life of the jaguar are intimately entwined. This is ecology in action and nowhere is it more evident, than on the lush slopes of the Sierra Zetasorra in the Northern Jaguar Reserve.Please support these efforts in whatever way you can.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Northern Jaguar Project is one of the most progressive and effective nonprofits I've had the opportunity to work with over the past 20 years. Although I have been reading about their work for many years, it wasn't until I visited the jaguar reserve in Sonora, Mexico last winter that I was able to better understand what a profound impact this organization has on the land, its animals and people.

NJP helped teach me the true meaning of the word "wild." I have been to wilderness areas on almost every continent, but the mountains, canyons and river on the reserve redefined my understanding of wilderness. If there has ever been an advocate and hero for the jaguar and its environs, it's NJP.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During my senior year of high school, I had the option of interning with NJP. Although another internship became my choice, the ethics and mission of NJP stood tall in my mind for years. Recently I contacted NJP, hoping I can volunteer and be a part of their amazing mission to preserve the North American Jaguar population, and the eco systems inhabited by them. The work done by them is nothing short a bad ass, from working with Mexican locals who reside near or around the preserve to be a part of the solution, to awareness programs all over southern AZ, to installing cameras and tracking migrating Jaguars, and more. The work is immense and done by few, who seem to work endlessly for an amazing purpose. The opinions I have and the time i spend volunteering, exist only because I have seen the positive work, the sacrifices and energy spent to do the work, and the selflessness of those who do it. I believe in the cause, but i believe in NJP because of those who run it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found the Northern Jaguar Project's website several years ago and have especially enjoyed reading their updates from the field. I have checked back often to see new trail-camera images of the reserve's wildlife and to learn more about the Project’s local outreach programs. Recently, I was given permission to film the "Northern Jaguars" Speaker Series in which NJP presented a very informative program on current jaguar issues. NJP has made images available and given other invaluable assistance for an upcoming documentary on the northern-most jaguars. Without their help and unique imagery, this documentary would not be possible. The willingness of the Northern Jaguar Project to work across the border and with many groups speaks to their dedication.
Chris Barnes
Filmmaker

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Consider this---The only Jaguars left in North America are in Mexico! They are trapped there no one to help them to survive except Northern Jaguar project and a a few others who care including some wonderful ranchers and their families. They are not going to swim the Panama Canal. They cannot improve their gene pool--have mercy and help these people!
A friend
Gary Thoms

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very unique, wholly necessary, and inspiringly successful organization. What truly makes the success of NJP come to life is the people who are involved. I heard about what the organization did and was very impressed, but there is no comparison to visiting the reserve, which I had the opportunity to do last fall. I came down for a week to volunteer and help build the central "people area", (leaving most the rest left to the animals and very few human visitors). I was not only able to help build infrastructure, but I learned so much in the process! Being there made me happy, knowing I was surrounded by so much wildness that was honestly, legitimately being reserved or resurrected back to a space where wildlife will be safe and can thrive. Every staff of NJP was real, down to earth and honestly passionate about their work. The reserve is breathtaking and what it represents is even more so!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I spent a wonderful week at the Reserve in the Spring of 2012 making adobe bricks for their guest quarters. It is readily apparent to any visitor that this is a special place and the Northern Jaguar Reserve is a special group. The extensive camera tracking, the fencing out of cattle, and their efforts to eradicate invasive buffelgrass are all helping to preserve a last wild habitat for the keystone Jaguar and all the species down the web of life. Bravo!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent some time this spring volunteering for NJP, doing photo documentation of various areas of the reserve to show the changes in plant communities over time after the removal of cattle from the land.
It is great to watch the Northern Jaguar Reserve return to a wild state after centuries of grazing. It was also great to see the work they are doing to speed the recovery of riparian habitat. It's a large undertaking, but NJP is doing a lot with very little. I support their work 100%

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I believe that the work NJP is doing has a direct and lasting impact for Jaguars in Northern Mexico and the Southwest US. I have worked as a volunteer for NJP on and off for the last five years both in the field assisting staff and scientists and in the office. NJP wastes no time or effort tooting their own horn, but instead this group puts its effort and its money where the greatest benefit to the ecosystem can be achieved.

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Sallie H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the spring of 2012 I was lucky to have been able to spend some time working for the Northern Jaguar Project on the reserve in Sonora. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I was first impressed with the dedicated staff that run the whole operation so smoothly. Then, after spending just a few days there, traveling around with fellow biologists and reserve staff, I fell in love with the place and didn't want to leave. It is such an amazing place. It is so important to have large landscapes such as this protected, not only for the jaguars that occupy it, but also for the many other heartbeats out there and the rich and diverse flora that exists there. I feel honored to have had the experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with NJP last fall in Sonora was amongst the most cherished I've had in recent years. The work was rewarding and educational. The importance of NJP's work was not only felt but seen.

Sky J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I only have a few favorite non-profits that I donate to in our region. NJP is certainly in my top tier. Very few organizations have as big of of an effect on the ground for wildlife and a healthy landscape. I have spent quite a bit of time in the area of NJP reserve and have seen dramatic improvements since the reserve was formed.

The land they protect is not only gorgeous and wild, but very biologically significant. While their primary aim is to protect jaguars, innumerable other species of plants and animals benefit. From a huge population of Black Hawks to the northernmost nesting Macaws to Ocelots and River Otters, this area needs NJP.

They have amazingly also garnered the support of locals who are often weary of environmental organizations. For this reason they are able to influence an even larger area than the reserve itself, protecting the essential core of Jaguar habitat. The Jaguar population in this area is key to the survival of the species in northern Mexico.

I highly recommend supporting the efforts of NJP.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was extremely fortunate to volunteer with NJP on their reserve in Sonora. Not only did the experience make the jaguar feel like a real animal rather than an abstraction, it also helped me appreciate NJP's broader conservation work across an amazing landscape. Everyone I met, from ranch hands to administrative staff, was incredibly dedicated and professional. NJP may be small, but they are a gem of a nonprofit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In February 2013 I volunteered for two and a half weeks at the Northern Jaguar Reserve, primarily assisting the Reserve Guardians with remote cameras. I came away very impressed with the quality and energy of all the people involved in this project - the young biologists, the vaqueros with their lifetime of local knowledge, and those involved with administration. I am also impressed with the model of involving human neighbors to the reserve, primarily cattle ranchers. As almost all conservationists involved with large cats realize, support by local people is crucial to the survival of predators.

The location of the reserve itself seems perfect - remote, relatively intact ecologically, varied, and close enough to the US border to possibly act as a source for emigration of jaguars to Arizona and New Mexico. There seem to be healthy populations of other mammals, including predacious cats, birds, and reptiles. Protecting jaguars as a keystone species here will also help protect many other species.

I came away with the sense that the vast majority of any dollar I contribute to this project will be used for direct acquisition and protection of habitat, or building the support necessary to preserve viable populations of jaguars at the northern edge of their range.

Eric Holle
Haines, Alaska

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I realized a dream when I went to Sonora and volunteer at the Northern Jaguar Reserve. I helped mostly with habitat restoration (bufflegrass removal and gabion building). It was so rewarding to be part of such a great project and to be in a place where jaguars roam. I spent more than a month in the reserve, discovering a completely new ecosystem for me, seeing an amazing diversity of birds, tracking wild cats. My most memorable sighting was of a bobcat. We sat and watched each other for 40 minutes! Its curiosity finally satiated, the bobcat walked away with unmistakable feline grace and disappeared quickly, as if the earth had swallowed it. Maybe one day I'll see a jaguar! I already think of going back in the near future.