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Photos: Elusive Jaguars Take Center Stage

Camera trapped

A camera trap captures a shot of a jaguar in Colombia.

(Image credit: © Panthera)

A camera trap captures a shot of a jaguar in Colombia, where oil palm plantations butt up against jaguar habitat. Camera traps are a noninvasive way of monitoring wildlife; in Arizona, El Jefe is tracked only by motion-activated cameras and by a scat-sniffing dog that guides biologists to prey sites.

Jaguar cub

A jaguar cub gets up close with a camera trap on a Colombian palm oil plantation.

(Image credit: © Panthera )

A jaguar cub gets up close with a camera trap on a Colombian palm oil plantation. Released in 2012, these photos revealed that jaguars don't necessarily avoid plantations, meaning that this sort of development doesn't isolate jaguar populations.

"Given the extensive amount of jaguar habitat overtaken by oil palm plantations in Colombia, we hope that certain plantations can be part of the Jaguar Corridor, enabling jaguars to reach areas with little or no human disturbances," Esteban Payan, director of Panthera's Northern South America Jaguar Program, said in a statement at the time.