TUCSON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The center for Biological Diversity released new footage of the only wild jaguar known to be living in the United States.
The video shared by Conservation CATalyst was the first ever to be publicly released of the jaguar, named "El Jefe" by a group of students who live in Tucson, Ariz.
"Studying these elusive cats anywhere is extremely difficult, but following the only known individual in the U.S. is especially challenging," biologist Chris Bugbee said in a press-release. "We use our specially trained scat detection dog and spent three years tracking in the rugged mountains, collecting data and refining camera sites; these videos represent the peak of our efforts."
El Jefe can be seen stalking about in a forest and walking along a creek in the video and has been photographed hundreds of times in the past using remote survey cameras.
"These glimpses into his behavior offer the keys to unlocking the mysteries of these cryptic cats," Conservation CATalyst executive director Aletris Neils said. "Every new piece of information is important for conserving northern jaguars and we look forward to building upon on these data so that we can collectively make better decisions on how to manage these fascinating and endangered cats."
El Jefe's environment faces a threat from a Canadian mining company that looks to build a mile-wide open-pit copper mine near the jaguar's home in the Arizona mountains.
According to conservation advocate Randy Serraglio, this kind of disruption would be a massive threat to the survival of northern jaguars.
"The Rosemont Mine would destroy El Jefe's home and severely hamstring recovery of jaguars in the United States," he said "At ground zero for the mine is the intersection of three major wildlife corridors that are essential for jaguars moving back into the U.S. to reclaim lost territory. The Santa Rita Mountains are critically important to jaguar recovery in this country, and they must be protected."