Jaguar

The jaguar (Panthera onca) is a wild cat species and the only extant member of the genus Panthera native to the Americas. The jaguar's present range extends from Southwestern United States and Mexico in North America, across much of Central America, and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina in South America. Though there are single cats now living within the Western United States, the species has largely been extirpated from the United States since the early 20th century. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List; and its numbers are declining. Threats include loss and fragmentation of habitat.

Overall, the jaguar is the largest native cat species of the New World and the third largest in the world. This spotted cat closely resembles the leopard, but is usually larger and sturdier. It ranges across a variety of forested and open terrains, but its preferred habitat is tropical and subtropical moist broad leaf forest, swamps and wooded regions. The jaguar enjoys swimming and is largely a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain. As a keystone species it plays an important role in stabilizing ecosystems and regulating prey populations.

While international trade in jaguars or their body parts is prohibited, the cat is still frequently killed, particularly in conflicts with ranchers and farmers in South America. Although reduced, its range remains large. Given its historical distribution, the jaguar has featured prominently in the mythology of numerous indigenous American cultures, including those of the Maya and Aztec.

Jaguar
Temporal range: 0.5–0 Ma
Middle Pleistocene – Recent
Chapultepec Zoo - Jaguar (02)
Jaguar at Chapultepec Zoo, near Mexico City.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Pantherinae
Genus: Panthera
Species:
P. onca
Binomial name
Panthera onca
Panthera onca distribution
Jaguar range
Red: Current range
Bright pink: Former range
Synonyms

Felis onca Linnaeus, 1758

Etymology

The word 'jaguar' is thought to derive from the Tupian word yaguara, meaning "beast of prey".[2] The word entered English presumably via the Amazonian trade language Tupinambá, via Portuguese jaguar.[3][4] The specific word for jaguar is yaguareté, with the suffix -eté meaning "real" or "true".[5]

The word 'panther' derives from classical Latin panthēra, itself from the ancient Greek pánthēr (πάνθηρ).[6]

In Mexican Spanish, its nickname is el tigre: 16th century Spaniards had no native word in their language for the jaguar, which is smaller than a lion, but bigger than a leopard, nor had ever encountered it in the Old World, and so named it after the tiger, since its ferocity would have been known to them through Roman writings and popular literature during the Renaissance.[7]

Onca is the Portuguese onça, with the cedilla dropped for typographical reasons, found in English as ounce for the snow leopard, Panthera uncia. It derives from the Latin lyncea lynx, with the letter L confused with the definite article (Italian lonza, Old French l'once).[8]

Taxonomy

In 1758, Carl Linnaeus described the jaguar in his work Systema Naturae and gave it the scientific name Felis onca.[9] In the 19th and 20th centuries, several jaguar type specimens formed the basis for descriptions of subspecies.[10] In 1939, Reginald Innes Pocock recognized eight subspecies based on geographic origins and skull morphology of these specimens.[11] Pocock did not have access to sufficient zoological specimens to critically evaluate their subspecific status, but expressed doubt about the status of several. Later consideration of his work suggested only three subspecies should be recognized. The description of P. o. palustris was based on a fossil skull.[12] The author of Mammal Species of the World listed nine subspecies and both P. o. palustris or P. o. paraguensis separately.[10]

Results of morphologic and genetic research indicate a clinal north–south variation between populations, but no evidence for subspecific differentiation.[13][14] A subsequent, more detailed study confirmed the predicted population structure within jaguar populations in Colombia.[15]

IUCN Red List assessors for the species and members of the Cat Specialist Group do not recognize any jaguar subspecies as valid.[1][16] The following table is based on the former classification of the species provided in Mammal Species of the World.[10]

Jaguar (Panthera onca palustris) female Piquiri River
South American jaguar at Piquiri River, Mato Grosso state, Brazil

Evolution

Panthera onca augusta
Fossil skull of a Pleistocene North American jaguar (Panthera onca augusta)

The genus Panthera probably evolved in Asia between six and ten million years ago.[17] The jaguar is thought to have diverged from a common ancestor of the Panthera at least 1.5 million years ago and to have entered the American continent in the Early Pleistocene via Beringia, the land bridge that once spanned the Bering Strait. Results of jaguar mitochondrial DNA analysis indicate that the species' lineage evolved between 280,000 and 510,000 years ago.[13] Its immediate ancestor was Panthera onca augusta, which was larger than the contemporary jaguar.[15]

Phylogenetic studies generally have shown the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is basal to this group.[18][19][20]

Fossils of extinct Panthera species, such as the European jaguar (P. gombaszoegensis) and the American lion (P. atrox), show characteristics of both the jaguar and the lion (P. leo).[18] Based on morphological evidence, the British zoologist Reginald Innes Pocock concluded that the jaguar is most closely related to the leopard (P. pardus).[11] However, DNA-based evidence is inconclusive, and the position of the jaguar relative to the other species varies between studies.[18][19][20][17]

Characteristics

Jaguarskull
The head of the jaguar is robust and the jaws extremely powerful
Cheetah, leopard & jaguar (en)
Comparative illustration of jaguar (bottom) with leopard and cheetah

The jaguar is a compact and well-muscled animal. It is the largest cat native to the Americas and the third largest in the world, exceeded in size by the tiger and lion.[12][21][22] Its coat is generally a tawny yellow, but ranges to reddish-brown, for most of the body. The ventral areas are white.[23] The fur is covered with rosettes for camouflage in the dappled light of its forest habitat. The spots and their shapes vary between individual jaguars: rosettes may include one or several dots. The spots on the head and neck are generally solid, as are those on the tail, where they may merge to form a band.[12] Forest jaguars are frequently darker and considerably smaller than those in open areas, possibly due to the smaller numbers of large, herbivorous prey in forest areas.[24]

Its size and weight vary considerably: weights are normally in the range of 56–96 kg (123–212 lb). Exceptionally big males have been recorded to weigh as much as 158 kg (348 lb).[25][26] The smallest females weigh about 36 kg (79 lb).[25] Females are typically 10–20 percent smaller than males. The length, from the nose to the base of the tail, varies from 1.12 to 1.85 m (3.7 to 6.1 ft). The tail is the shortest of any big cat, at 45 to 75 cm (18 to 30 in) in length.[25][27] Legs are also short, but thick and powerful, considerably shorter when compared to a small tiger or lion in a similar weight range. The jaguar stands 63 to 76 cm (25 to 30 in) tall at the shoulders.[23]

Further variations in size have been observed across regions and habitats, with size tending to increase from north to south. Mexican jaguars in the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve on the Pacific coast weighed just about 50 kg (110 lb), about the size of a female cougar.[28] South American jaguars in Venezuela or Brazil are much larger with average weights of about 95 kg (209 lb) in males and of about 56–78 kg (123–172 lb) in females.[12]

A short and stocky limb structure makes the jaguar adept at climbing, crawling, and swimming.[23] The head is robust and the jaw extremely powerful, it has the third highest bite force of all felids, after the tiger and lion.[29] A 100 kg (220 lb) jaguar can bite with a force of 503.6 kgf (1,110 lbf) at canine teeth and 705.8 kgf (1,556 lbf) at carnassial notch.[30] This allows it to pierce the shells of armored reptiles and turtles.[31] A comparative study of bite force adjusted for body size ranked it as the top field, alongside the clouded leopard and ahead of the tiger and lion.[32] It has been reported that "an individual jaguar can drag an 800 lb (360 kg) bull 25 ft (7.6 m) in its jaws and pulverize the heaviest bones".[33]

While the jaguar closely resembles the leopard, it is generally sturdier and heavier, and the two animals can be distinguished by their rosettes: the rosettes on a jaguar's coat are larger, fewer in number, usually darker, and have thicker lines and small spots in the middle that the leopard lacks. Jaguars also have rounder heads and shorter, stockier limbs compared to leopards.[34]

Colour variation

Black Jaguar (Panthera onca)
A melanistic jaguar is a color morph which occurs at about 6 percent frequency in populations

Melanistic jaguars are informally known as black panthers, but as with all forms of polymorphism they do not form a separate species. The black morph is less common than the spotted morph, estimated at occurring in about 6% of the South American jaguar population.[35] In Mexico's Sierra Madre Occidental, the first black jaguar was recorded in 2004.[36]

Some evidence indicates that the melanistic allele is dominant, and being supported by natural selection.[37] The black form may be an example of heterozygote advantage; breeding in captivity is not yet conclusive on this. Melanistic jaguars (or "black" jaguars) occur primarily in parts of South America, and are virtually unknown in wild populations residing in the subtropical and temperate regions of North America; they have rarely been documented north of Mexico's Isthmus of Tehuantepec.[38]

Extremely rare albino individuals, sometimes called white panthers, also occur among jaguars, as with the other big cats.[24] As usual with albinos in the wild, selection keeps the frequency close to the rate of mutation.

Distribution and habitat

Standing jaguar
The jaguar inhabits a variety of forested and open habitat, but is strongly associated with the presence of water.

At present, the jaguar's range extends from Mexico through Central America to South America, including much of Amazonian Brazil. The countries included in this range are Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica (particularly on the Osa Peninsula), Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, the United States and Venezuela. It is now locally extinct in El Salvador and Uruguay.[1]

It occurs in the 400 km² Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize, the 5,300 km² Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, the approximately 15,000 km2 Manú National Park in Peru, the approximately 26,000 km2 Xingu National Park in Brazil, and numerous other reserves throughout its range.

The inclusion of the United States in the list is based on occasional sightings in the southwest, particularly in Arizona,[39] New Mexico and Texas. There are rock drawings made by the Hopi, Anasazi, and Pueblo all over the desert and chaparral regions.[40] There are records of the beast being sold for its pelt in the vicinity of San Antonio, Texas for $18 apiece in the mid 19th century[41] and there are records from well before California was a state that fit the description of this cat.[42]

In the early 20th century, the jaguar's range extended as far north as the Grand Canyon and possibly Colorado, and as far west as Monterey in Northern California.[43][44][45] The jaguar is a protected species in the United States under the Endangered Species Act, which has stopped the shooting of the animal for its pelt. Jaguar skins are also treated as illegal contraband by the US government and otherwise by and large Americans have stopped wearing fur coats made of the pelts of spotted cats as citizens are aware of the international plight of big cats. Unfortunately the cessation of hunting came too late to save the jaguar population from crashing and no kittens have been known to have been born on the other side of the Mexican-American border in generations.

In 1996 and from 2004 on, hunting guides and wildlife officials in Arizona photographed and documented jaguars in the southern part of the state.[46] Between 2004 and 2007, two or three jaguars have been reported by researchers around Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona. One of them, called 'Macho B', had been previously photographed in 1996 in the area.[47] For any permanent population in the US to thrive, protection from killing, an adequate prey base, and connectivity with Mexican populations are essential.[48] In February 2009, a 53.5 kg (118 lb) jaguar was caught, radio-collared and released in an area southwest of Tucson, Arizona; this is farther north than had previously been expected and represents a sign there may be a permanent breeding population of jaguars within southern Arizona. The animal was later confirmed to be indeed the same male individual ('Macho B') that was photographed in 2004.[49] On 2 March 2009, Macho B was recaptured and euthanized after he was found to be suffering from kidney failure; the animal was thought to be 16 years old, older than any known wild jaguar.[50]

It is feared that completion of a United States–Mexico barrier may reduce the viability of any population currently residing in the United States, by reducing gene flow with Mexican populations, and may prevent any further northward expansion for the species.[51]

The historic range of the species included much of the southern half of the United States, and in the south extended much farther to cover most of the South American continent. In total, its northern range has receded 1,000 km (620 mi) southward and its southern range 2,000 km (1,200 mi) northward. Ice age fossils of the jaguar, dated between 40,000 and 11,500 years ago, have been discovered in the United States, including some at an important site as far north as Missouri. Fossil evidence shows jaguars of up to 190 kg (420 lb), much larger than the contemporary average for the animal.[52]

The habitat of the cat typically includes the rain forests of South and Central America, open, seasonally flooded wetlands, and dry grassland terrain. Of these habitats, the jaguar much prefers dense forest;[24] the cat has lost range most rapidly in regions of drier habitat, such as the Argentine pampas, the arid grasslands of Mexico, and the southwestern United States.[1] The cat will range across tropical, subtropical, and dry deciduous forests (including, historically, oak forests in the United States). The jaguar prefers to live by rivers, swamps, and in dense rainforest with thick cover for stalking prey. Jaguars have been found at elevations as high as 3,800 m, but they typically avoid montane forest and are not found in the high plateau of central Mexico or in the Andes.[24] The jaguars preferred habitats are usually swamps and wooded regions, but jaguars also live in scrublands and deserts.[53]

Ecology and behavior

Ecological role

The adult jaguar is an apex predator, meaning it exists at the top of its food chain and is not preyed on in the wild. The jaguar has also been termed a keystone species, as it is assumed, through controlling the population levels of prey such as herbivorous and granivorous mammals, apex felids maintain the structural integrity of forest systems.[28][54] However, accurately determining what effect species like the jaguar have on ecosystems is difficult, because data must be compared from regions where the species is absent as well as its current habitats, while controlling for the effects of human activity. It is accepted that mid-sized prey species undergo population increases in the absence of the keystone predators, and this has been hypothesized to have cascading negative effects.[55] However, field work has shown this may be natural variability and the population increases may not be sustained. Thus, the keystone predator hypothesis is not accepted by all scientists.[56]

The jaguar also has an effect on other predators. The jaguar and the cougar, which is the next-largest feline of South America, but the biggest in Central or North America,[28] are often sympatric (related species sharing overlapping territory) and have often been studied in conjunction. The jaguar tends to take larger prey, usually over 22 kg (49 lb) and the cougar smaller, usually between 2 and 22 kg (4.4 and 48.5 lb), reducing the latter's size.[57][58] This situation may be advantageous to the cougar. Its broader prey niche, including its ability to take smaller prey, may give it an advantage over the jaguar in human-altered landscapes;[28] while both are classified as near-threatened species, the cougar has a significantly larger current distribution. Depending on the availability of prey, the cougar and jaguar may even share it.[59]

Reproduction and life cycle

Panthera onca zoo Salzburg 2009 06
4-month-old cub at the Salzburg Zoo

Jaguar females reach sexual maturity at about two years of age, and males at three or four. The cat probably mates throughout the year in the wild, with births increasing when prey is plentiful.[60] Research on captive male jaguars supports the year-round mating hypothesis, with no seasonal variation in semen traits and ejaculatory quality; low reproductive success has also been observed in captivity.[61]

Generation length of the jaguar is 9.8 years.[62]

Female estrus is 6–17 days out of a full 37-day cycle, and females will advertise fertility with urinary scent marks and increased vocalization.[60] Females range more widely than usual during courtship. Pairs separate after mating, and females provide all parenting. The gestation period lasts 93–105 days; females give birth to up to four cubs, and most commonly to two. The mother will not tolerate the presence of males after the birth of cubs, given a risk of infanticide; this behavior is also found in the tiger.[63]

The young are born blind, gaining sight after two weeks. Cubs are weaned at three months, but remain in the birth den for six months before leaving to accompany their mother on hunts.[64] They will continue in their mother's company for one to two years before leaving to establish a territory for themselves. Young males are at first nomadic, jostling with their older counterparts until they succeed in claiming a territory. Typical lifespan in the wild is estimated at around 12–15 years; in captivity, the jaguar lives up to 23 years, placing it among the longest-lived cats.[65]

Social activity

Like most cats, the jaguar is solitary outside mother–cub groups. Adults generally meet only to court and mate (though limited noncourting socialization has been observed anecdotally[63]) and carve out large territories for themselves. Female territories, which range from 25 to 40 km2 in size, may overlap, but the animals generally avoid one another. Male ranges cover roughly twice as much area, varying in size with the availability of game and space, and do not overlap. The territory of a male can contain those of several females.[63][66] The jaguar uses scrape marks, urine, and feces to mark its territory.[67][68]

Like the other big cats, the jaguar is capable of roaring[69][70] and does so to warn territorial and mating competitors away; intensive bouts of counter-calling between individuals have been observed in the wild.[31] Their roar often resembles a repetitive cough, and they may also vocalize mews and grunts.[65] Mating fights between males occur, but are rare, and aggression avoidance behavior has been observed in the wild.[67] When it occurs, conflict is typically over territory: a male's range may encompass that of two or three females, and he will not tolerate intrusions by other adult males.[63]

The jaguar is often described as nocturnal, but is more specifically crepuscular (peak activity around dawn and dusk). Both sexes hunt, but males travel farther each day than females, befitting their larger territories. The jaguar may hunt during the day if game is available and is a relatively energetic feline, spending as much as 50–60 percent of its time active.[24] The jaguar's elusive nature and the inaccessibility of much of its preferred habitat make it a difficult animal to sight, let alone study.

Hunting and diet

Panthera onca at the Toronto Zoo 2
The jaguar has an exceptionally powerful bite that allows it to pierce the shells of armored prey

Like all cats, the jaguar is an obligate carnivore, feeding only on meat. It is an opportunistic hunter and its diet encompasses at least 87 species.[24] The jaguar can take virtually any terrestrial or riparian vertebrate found in Central or South America, except for large crocodilians such as black caiman. Jaguars are excellent swimmers and will dive under the water to catch turtles in rivers and the occasional fish. The jaguar is more of a dietary generalist than its Old World cousins: the American tropics have a high diversity of small animals but relatively low populations and diversity of the large ungulates which this genus favors.[57] They regularly take adult caimans, except for black caimans,[71] deer, capybaras, tapirs, peccaries, dogs, zorros, and sometimes even anacondas.[12] However, it preys on any small species available, including frogs, mice, birds (mainly ground-based species such as cracids), fish, sloths, monkeys, and turtles. A study conducted in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize revealed that the diet of jaguars there consisted primarily of armadillos and pacas.[67] Some jaguars will also take domestic livestock.[72] El Jefe, one of the few jaguars that were reported in the United States,[73][74] has also been found to kill and eat American black bears, as deduced from hairs found within his scats and the partly consumed carcass of a black bear sow with the distinctive puncture marks to the skull left by jaguars. This indicates that jaguars might have once preyed on black bears when the species was still present in the area. Spectacled bears are also known to avoid jaguars, possibly because they may constitute occasional prey items.[75]

There is evidence that jaguars in the wild consume the roots of Banisteriopsis caapi.[76]

While the jaguar often employs the deep throat-bite and suffocation technique typical among Panthera, it sometimes uses a killing method unique among cats: it pierces directly through the temporal bones of the skull between the ears of prey (especially the capybara) with its canine teeth, piercing the brain.[77] This may be an adaptation to "cracking open" turtle shells; following the late Pleistocene extinctions, armored reptiles such as turtles would have formed an abundant prey base for the jaguar.[31][24] The skull bite is employed with mammals in particular; with reptiles such as the caiman, the jaguar may leap onto the back of the prey and sever the cervical vertebrae, immobilizing the target. When attacking sea turtles, including the huge leatherback sea turtle which weighs about 385 kg (849 lb) on average, as they try to nest on beaches, the jaguar will bite at the head, often beheading the prey, before dragging it off to eat.[78] Reportedly, while hunting horses, a jaguar may leap onto their back, place one paw on the muzzle and another on the nape and then twist, dislocating the neck. Local people have anecdotally reported that when hunting a pair of horses bound together, the jaguar will kill one horse and then drag it while the other horse, still living, is dragged in their wake.[79] With prey such as smaller dogs, a paw swipe to the skull may be sufficient to kill it.

Jagvstapir
Illustration of a jaguar killing a tapir, the largest native land animal in its range

The jaguar is a stalk-and-ambush rather than a chase predator. The cat will walk slowly down forest paths, listening for and stalking prey before rushing or ambushing. The jaguar attacks from cover and usually from a target's blind spot with a quick pounce; the species' ambushing abilities are considered nearly peerless in the animal kingdom by both indigenous people and field researchers, and are probably a product of its role as an apex predator in several different environments. The ambush may include leaping into water after prey, as a jaguar is quite capable of carrying a large kill while swimming; its strength is such that carcasses as large as a heifer can be hauled up a tree to avoid flood levels.[63]

On killing prey, the jaguar will drag the carcass to a thicket or other secluded spot. It begins eating at the neck and chest, rather than the midsection. The heart and lungs are consumed, followed by the shoulders.[63] The daily food requirement of a 34 kg (75 lb) animal, at the extreme low end of the species' weight range, has been estimated at 1.4 kg (3.1 lb).[43] For captive animals in the 50–60 kg (110–130 lb) range, more than 2 kg (4.4 lb) of meat daily are recommended.[80] In the wild, consumption is naturally more erratic; wild cats expend considerable energy in the capture and kill of prey, and they may consume up to 25 kg (55 lb) of meat at one feeding, followed by periods of famine.[81]

Man-eating

Unlike all other Panthera species, jaguars very rarely attack humans. However, jaguar attacks appear to be on the rise with increased human encroachment on their habitat and a decrease in prey populations.[82] Sometimes jaguars in captivity attack zookeepers.[83] In addition, it appears that attacks on humans had been more common in the past, at least after conquistadors arrived in the Americas, to the extent that the jaguar had a fearsome reputation in the Americas, akin to the lion and tiger in the Old World. Nevertheless, even in those times, the jaguar's chief prey was the capybara, not the human, and Charles Darwin reported a saying of Native Americans that people would not have to fear the jaguar much, as long as capybaras were abundant.[84]

Threats

The American Museum journal (c1900-(1918)) (17972328810)
A South American jaguar killed by Theodore Roosevelt
Statuette Karajà MHNT.ETH.2011.17.85
jaguar hunting scene with dogs – MHNT

Jaguar populations are rapidly declining. The species is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. The loss of parts of its range, including its virtual elimination from its historic northern areas and the increasing fragmentation of the remaining range, have contributed to this status.[1] Particularly significant declines occurred in the 1960s, when more than 15,000 jaguars were killed for their skins in the Brazilian Amazon yearly; the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of 1973 brought about a sharp decline in the pelt trade.[85] Detailed work performed under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society revealed the species has lost 37% of its historic range, with its status unknown in an additional 18% of the global range. More encouragingly, the probability of long-term survival was considered high in 70% of its remaining range, particularly in the Amazon basin and the adjoining Gran Chaco and Pantanal.[86]

The major risks to the jaguar include deforestation across its habitat, increasing competition for food with human beings, especially in dry and unproductive habitat,[1][87] poaching, hurricanes in northern parts of its range, and the behavior of ranchers who will often kill the cat where it preys on livestock. When adapted to the prey, the jaguar has been shown to take cattle as a large portion of its diet; while land clearance for grazing is a problem for the species, the jaguar population may have increased when cattle were first introduced to South America, as the animals took advantage of the new prey base. This willingness to take livestock has induced ranch owners to hire full-time jaguar hunters.[65]

The skins of wild cats and other mammals have been highly valued by the fur trade for many decades. From the beginning of the 20th-century Jaguars were hunted in large numbers, but over-harvest and habitat destruction reduced the availability and induced hunters and traders to gradually shift to smaller species by the 1960s. The international trade of jaguar skins had its largest boom between the end of the Second World War and the early 1970, due to the growing economy and lack of regulations. From 1967 onwards, the regulations introduced by national laws and international agreements diminished the reported international trade from as high as 13000 skins in 1967, through 7000 skins in 1969, until it became negligible after 1976, although illegal trade and smuggling continue to be a problem. During this period, the biggest exporters were Brazil and Paraguay, and the biggest importers were the US and Germany.[88]

Conservation

Black jaguar
A melanistic jaguar
Jaguar - Cameron Park Zoo - Waco, Texas
Adult jaguar in Cameron Park Zoo, Waco, Texas

The jaguar is listed on CITES Appendix I, which means that all international trade in jaguars or their body parts is prohibited. Hunting jaguars is prohibited in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, the United States, and Venezuela. Hunting jaguars is restricted in Guatemala and Peru.[1] Trophy hunting is still permitted in Bolivia, and it is not protected in Ecuador or Guyana.[89]

Jaguar Conservation Units

Jaguar conservation is complicated because of the species' large range spanning 18 countries with different policies and regulations. Specific areas of high importance for jaguar conservation, so-called "Jaguar Conservation Units" (JCU) were determined in 2000. These are large areas inhabited by at least 50 jaguars. Each unit was assessed and evaluated on the basis of size, connectivity, habitat quality for both jaguar and prey, and jaguar population status. That way, 51 Jaguar Conservation Units were determined in 36 geographic regions as priority areas for jaguar conservation including:[86]

Recent studies underlined that to maintain the robust exchange across the jaguar gene pool necessary for maintaining the species, it is important that jaguar habitats are interconnected. To facilitate this, a new project, the Paseo del Jaguar, has been established to connect several jaguar hotspots.[90]

In 1986, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary was established in Belize as the world's first protected area for jaguar conservation.[91]

Given the inaccessibility of much of the species' range, particularly the central Amazon, estimating jaguar numbers is difficult. Researchers typically focus on particular bioregions, thus species-wide analysis is scant. In 1991, 600–1,000 (the highest total) were estimated to be living in Belize. A year earlier, 125–180 jaguars were estimated to be living in Mexico's 4,000-km2 (2400-mi2) Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, with another 350 in the state of Chiapas. The adjoining Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala, with an area measuring 15,000 km2 (9,000 mi2), may have 465–550 animals.[92] Work employing GPS telemetry in 2003 and 2004 found densities of only six to seven jaguars per 100 km2 in the critical Pantanal region, compared with 10 to 11 using traditional methods; this suggests the widely used sampling methods may inflate the actual numbers of cats.[93]

Approaches

In setting up protected reserves, efforts generally also have to be focused on the surrounding areas, as jaguars are unlikely to confine themselves to the bounds of a reservation, especially if the population is increasing in size. Human attitudes in the areas surrounding reserves and laws and regulations to prevent poaching are essential to make conservation areas effective.[94]

To estimate population sizes within specific areas and to keep track of individual jaguars, camera trapping and wildlife tracking telemetry are widely used, and feces may be sought out with the help of detector dogs to study jaguar health and diet.[95][96] Current conservation efforts often focus on educating ranch owners and promoting ecotourism.[97] The jaguar is generally defined as an umbrella species – its home range and habitat requirements are sufficiently broad that, if protected, numerous other species of smaller range will also be protected.[98] Umbrella species serve as "mobile links" at the landscape scale, in the jaguar's case through predation. Conservation organizations may thus focus on providing viable, connected habitat for the jaguar, with the knowledge other species will also benefit.[97]

Ecotourism setups are being used to generate public interest in charismatic animals such as the jaguar, while at the same time generating revenue that can be used in conservation efforts. Audits done in Africa have shown that ecotourism has helped in African cat conservation. As with large African cats, a key concern in jaguar ecotourism is the considerable habitat space the species requires, so if ecotourism is used to aid in jaguar conservation, some considerations need to be made as to how existing ecosystems will be kept intact, or how new ecosystems that are large enough to support a growing jaguar population will be put into place.[99]

The United States

The only extant cat native to North America that roars,[100] the jaguar was recorded as an animal of the Americas by Thomas Jefferson in 1799.[101] Jaguars are still occasionally sighted in Arizona and New Mexico, such as El Jefe,[102][103] prompting actions for its conservation by authorities.[100] For example, on August 20, 2012, the USFWS proposed setting aside 838,232 acres in Arizona and New Mexico — an area larger than Rhode Island — as critical jaguar habitat.[104]

In mythology and culture

Pre-Columbian Americas

Jaguar warrior
Jaguar warrior in the Aztec culture
Chilam Balam Ixil
Copy of the Book of Chilam Balam of Ixil in the National Museum of Anthropology (Mexico)
Statuette Karajà MHNT.ETH.2010.24.88
Statuette of Karajà in the Museum of Toulouse
MocheJaguarLarcoMuseum
Moche jaguar figurine dating to 300 CE, at the Larco Museum in Lima, Peru

In pre-Columbian Central and South America, the jaguar was a symbol of power and strength. Among the Andean cultures, a jaguar cult disseminated by the early Chavín culture became accepted over most of what is today Peru by 900 BC. The later Moche culture of northern Peru used the jaguar as a symbol of power in many of their ceramics.[105][106][107] In the religion of the Muisca, who inhabited the cool Altiplano Cundiboyacense in the Colombian Andes, the jaguar was considered a sacred animal and during their religious rituals the people dressed in jaguar skins.[108] The skins were traded with the lowland peoples of the tropical Llanos Orientales.[109] The name of zipa Nemequene was derived from the Muysccubun words nymy and quyne, meaning "force of the jaguar".[110][111]

In Mesoamerica, the Olmec—an early and influential culture of the Gulf Coast region roughly contemporaneous with the Chavín—developed a distinct "were-jaguar" motif of sculptures and figurines showing stylised jaguars or humans with jaguar characteristics. In the later Maya civilization, the jaguar was believed to facilitate communication between the living and the dead and to protect the royal household. The Maya saw these powerful felines as their companions in the spiritual world, and a number of Maya rulers bore names that incorporated the Mayan word for jaguar (b'alam in many of the Mayan languages). Balam (Jaguar) remains a common Maya surname, and it is also the name of Chilam Balam, a legendary author to whom are attributed 17th and 18th-centuries Maya miscellanies preserving much important knowledge. The Aztec civilization shared this image of the jaguar as the representative of the ruler and as a warrior. The Aztecs formed an elite warrior class known as the Jaguar Knights. In Aztec mythology, the jaguar was considered to be the totem animal of the powerful deity Tezcatlipoca.[63][112]

Contemporary culture

The jaguar and its name are widely used as a symbol in contemporary culture. It is the national animal of Guyana, and is featured in its coat of arms.[113] The flag of the Department of Amazonas, a Colombian department, features a black jaguar silhouette pouncing towards a hunter.[114] The jaguar also appears in banknotes of Brazilian real. The jaguar is also a common fixture in the mythology of many contemporary native cultures in South America,[115] usually being portrayed as the creature which gave humans the power over fire.

Jaguar is widely used as a product name, most prominently for a British luxury car brand. The name has been adopted by sports franchises, including the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars and the Mexican soccer club Chiapas F.C. The crest of Argentina's national federation in rugby union features a jaguar; however, because of a journalist error, the country's national team is nicknamed Los Pumas.[116] In the spirit of the ancient Mayan culture, the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City adopted a red jaguar as the first official Olympic mascot.[117]

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Bibliography

Further reading

External links

Atari Jaguar

The Atari Jaguar is a home video game console that was developed by Atari Corporation. The console is the sixth programmable console to be developed under the Atari brand, originally released in North America in November 1993. It is also the last Atari console to use physical media. Controversially, Atari marketed the Jaguar as being the first 64-bit video game console, while competing with the existing 16-bit consoles (Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System) and the 32-bit 3DO Interactive Multiplayer platform (which launched the same year).

Development on the Atari Jaguar started in the early 1990s by Flare Technology. The console was released to test markets in New York City and San Francisco in November 1993 and to the general public in 1994. The Jaguar shipped with Cybermorph as the pack-in game.The multi-chip architecture, hardware bugs, and lacking developer support tools made game development difficult. Underwhelming sales further contributed to the console's lack of third-party support. This, in addition to the lack of internal development at Atari, led to a games library comprising only 50 licensed titles + another 13 games on the Jaguar CD.

Atari attempted to extend the lifespan of the system with the Atari Jaguar CD add-on and marketing the Jaguar as the low-cost next generation console, with a price tag over $100 less than any of its competitors. With the release of the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation in 1995, sales of the Jaguar continued to fall, ultimately selling no more than 250,000 units before it was discontinued in 1996. The commercial failure of the Jaguar prompted Atari to leave the video game console market.

After Hasbro Interactive bought out Atari in the late 1990s, the patents to the Jaguar were released into the public domain, with the console being declared an open platform. Since then, the Jaguar has gained a cult following, with a developer base that produces homebrew games for the console.

Black panther

A black panther is the melanistic color variant of any big cat species. Black panthers in Asia and Africa are leopards (Panthera pardus), and those in the Americas are jaguars (Panthera onca).

Chery Jaguar Land Rover

Chery Jaguar Land Rover (officially Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company Ltd.) is an automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Changshu, China.

A 50:50 joint venture between UK-headquartered Jaguar Land Rover, itself a subsidiary of Tata Motors of India; and Chinese state owned automaker Chery, it was formed to allow production of Jaguar Cars and Land Rover vehicles in mainland China. Chery Jaguar Land Rover's first assembly plant is in Changshu, with production having commenced in October 2014.

Daimler Company

The Daimler Company Limited, until 1910, the Daimler Motor Company Limited, was an independent British motor vehicle manufacturer founded in London by H. J. Lawson in 1896, which set up its manufacturing base in Coventry. The company bought the right to the use of the Daimler name simultaneously from Gottlieb Daimler and Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft of Cannstatt, Germany. After early financial difficulty and a reorganisation of the company in 1904, the Daimler Motor Company was purchased by Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) in 1910, which also made cars under its own name before World War II. In 1933, BSA bought the Lanchester Motor Company and made it a subsidiary of Daimler.

Daimler was awarded a Royal Warrant to provide cars to the British Monarch in 1902; it lost this privilege in the 1950s after being supplanted by Rolls-Royce. Daimler occasionally used alternative technology: the Knight engine which it further developed in the early twentieth century and used from 1909 to 1935, worm gear final drive fitted from 1909 until after the Second World War, and their patented fluid flywheel used in conjunction with a Wilson preselector gearbox from 1930 to the mid-1950s.

In the 1950s, Daimler tried to widen its appeal with a line of smaller cars at one end and opulent show cars at the other, stopped making Lanchesters, had a highly publicised removal of their chairman from the board, and developed and sold a sports car and a high-performance luxury saloon and limousine.

In 1960, BSA sold Daimler to Jaguar Cars, which continued Daimler's line and added a Daimler variant of its Mark II sports saloon. Jaguar was then merged into the British Motor Corporation in 1966 and British Leyland in 1968. Under these companies, Daimler became an upscale trim level for Jaguar cars except for the 1968-1992 Daimler DS420 limousine, which had no Jaguar equivalent despite being fully Jaguar-based. When Jaguar Cars was split off from British Leyland in 1984 it retained the Daimler company and brand.

In 1990 Ford Motor Company bought Jaguar Cars and under Ford it stopped using the Daimler marque in 2007. Jaguar Cars remained in their ownership, and from 2000 accompanied by Land Rover, until they sold both Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors in 2008, who created Jaguar Land Rover as a subsidiary holding company for them. In 2013, Jaguar Cars was merged with Land Rover to form Jaguar Land Rover Limited, and the rights to the Daimler car brand were transferred to the newly formed British multinational car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover.

Fender Jaguar

The Fender Jaguar is an electric guitar by Fender Musical Instruments characterized by an offset-waist body, a relatively unusual switching system with two separate circuits for lead and rhythm, and a medium-scale 24" neck. Owing some roots to the Jazzmaster, it was introduced in 1962 as Fender's feature-laden top-of-the-line model, designed to lure players from Gibson. During its initial 13-year production run, the Jaguar did not sell as well as the less expensive Stratocaster and Telecaster, and achieved its most noticeable popularity in the surf music scene. After the Jaguar was taken out of production in 1975, vintage Jaguars became popular first with American punk rock players, and then more so during the alternative rock, shoegazing and indie rock movements of the 1980s and 1990s. Fender began making a version in Japan in the mid-1980s, and then introduced a USA-made reissue in 1999. Since then, Fender has made a variety of Jaguars in America, Mexico, and China under both the Fender and Squier labels. Original vintage Jaguars sell for many times their original price.

Jaguar Cars

Jaguar (UK: , US: ) is the luxury vehicle brand of Jaguar Land Rover, a British multinational car manufacturer with its headquarters in Whitley, Coventry, England. Jaguar Cars was the company that was responsible for the production of Jaguar cars until its operations were fully merged with those of Land Rover to form Jaguar Land Rover on 1 January 2013.

Jaguar's business was founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, originally making motorcycle sidecars before developing bodies for passenger cars. Under the ownership of S. S. Cars Limited the business extended to complete cars made in association with Standard Motor Co, many bearing Jaguar as a model name. The company's name was changed from S. S. Cars to Jaguar Cars in 1945. A merger with the British Motor Corporation followed in 1966, the resulting enlarged company now being renamed as British Motor Holdings (BMH), which in 1968 merged with Leyland Motor Corporation and became British Leyland, itself to be nationalised in 1975.

Jaguar was spun off from British Leyland and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1984, becoming a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until it was acquired by Ford in 1990. Jaguar has, in recent years, manufactured cars for the British Prime Minister, the most recent delivery being an XJ in May 2010. The company also holds royal warrants from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.In 1990 Ford acquired Jaguar Cars and it remained in their ownership, joined in 2000 by Land Rover, till 2008. Ford then sold both Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors. Tata created Jaguar Land Rover as a subsidiary holding company. At operating company level, in 2013 Jaguar Cars was merged with Land Rover to form Jaguar Land Rover Limited as the single design, manufacture, sales company and brand owner for both Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

Since the Ford ownership era, Jaguar and Land Rover have used joint design facilities in engineering centres at Whitley in Coventry and Gaydon in Warwickshire and Jaguar cars have been assembled in plants at Castle Bromwich and Solihull.

Jaguar E-Type

The Jaguar E-Type, or the Jaguar XK-E for the North American market, is a British sports car that was manufactured by Jaguar Cars Ltd between 1961 and 1975. Its combination of beauty, high performance, and competitive pricing established the model as an icon of the motoring world. The E-Type's 150 mph (241 km/h) top speed, sub-7-second 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration, monocoque construction, disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, and independent front and rear suspension distinguished the car and spurred industry-wide changes. The E-Type was based on Jaguar's D-Type racing car, which had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three consecutive years beginning 1955, and employed what was, for the early 1960s, a novel racing design principle, with a front subframe carrying the engine, front suspension and front bodywork bolted directly to the body tub. No ladderfame chassis, as was common at the time, was needed and as such the first cars weighed only 1315kg (2900lb).On its release in March 1961 Enzo Ferrari called it "the most beautiful car ever made". In 2004, Sports Car International magazine placed the E-Type at number one on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. In March 2008, the Jaguar E-Type ranked first in The Daily Telegraph online list of the world's "100 most beautiful cars" of all time. Outside automotive circles, the E-type received prominent placement in Diabolik comic series, Austin Powers films and the television series Mad Men.

Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC is the holding company of Jaguar Land Rover Limited, a British multinational automotive company with its headquarters in Whitley, Coventry, United Kingdom, and a subsidiary of Indian automotive company Tata Motors. The principal activity of Jaguar Land Rover Limited is the design, development, manufacture and sale of vehicles bearing the Jaguar and Land Rover marques. Both marques have long and complex histories prior to their merger – Jaguar going back to the 1930s and Land Rover to the 1940s – first coming together in 1968 as part of the ill-fated British Leyland conglomerate, later again independent of each other, and then as subsidiaries of BMW (in the case of Land Rover), and Ford Motor Company (Jaguar). Ford acquired Land Rover from BMW in 2000 following the break-up of the former Rover Group, which was effectively the remainder of the British Leyland car producing companies.

Jaguar Land Rover has been a subsidiary of Tata Motors since they founded it for the acquisition of Jaguar Cars Limited and Land Rover from Ford in 2008. On 1 January 2013 the operations of Jaguar Cars Limited and Land Rover were merged as Jaguar Land Rover Limited and the parent was renamed to Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC.

Jaguar Racing

Jaguar Racing is the name given to Jaguar's racing interests. It made its Formula E debut ahead of the 2016–17 Formula E season. It was previously a Formula One constructor that competed in the FIA Formula One World Championship from 2000 to 2004.

Jaguar XF

Jaguar XF may refer to:

Jaguar XF (X250) (2007–2015), an executive/mid-size luxury car

Jaguar XF (X260) (2015–present), an executive/mid-size luxury car

Jaguar XJ

Jaguar XJ is a series of full-size luxury cars produced under the Jaguar marque by British motor car manufacturer Jaguar Cars (becoming Jaguar Land Rover in 2013) since 1968. Since 1970 they have been Jaguar's flagship. The original model was the last Jaguar saloon to have had the input of Sir William Lyons, the company's founder, and the model has been featured in countless media and high-profile appearances. The current Jaguar XJ was launched in 2009. It is one of the cars used by the British royal family and an armoured version is used for transporting the UK Prime Minister.

Jaguar XJ220

The Jaguar XJ220 is a two-seat sports car produced by British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar from 1992 until 1994, in collaboration with the specialist automotive and race engineering company Tom Walkinshaw Racing. The XJ220 recorded a top speed of 212.3 mph (341.7 km/h) during testing by Jaguar at the Nardo test track in Italy. This made it the fastest production car from 1992 to 1993. According to Jaguar, an XJ220 prototype managed a Nürburgring lap time of 7:46:36 in 1991 which was faster than any production car lap time before it.The XJ220 was developed from a V12-engined 4-wheel drive concept car designed by an informal group of Jaguar employees working in their spare time. The group wished to create a modern version of the successful Jaguar 24 Hours of Le Mans racing cars of the 1950s and 1960s that could be entered into FIA Group B competitions. The XJ220 made use of engineering work undertaken for Jaguar's then current racing car family.The initial XJ220 concept car was unveiled to the public at the 1988 British International Motor Show, held in Birmingham, England. Its positive reception prompted Jaguar to put the car into production. Approximately 1,500 deposits of £50,000 each were taken and deliveries were planned for 1992.Engineering requirements resulted in significant changes to the specification of the XJ220, most notably the replacement of the Jaguar V12 engine by a turbocharged V6 engine. The changes to the specification and a collapse in the price of high performance cars brought about by the early 1990s recession resulted in many buyers choosing not to exercise their purchase options. A total of just 275 cars were produced by the time production ended, each with a retail price of GB£470,000 in 1992, making it one of the most expensive cars at that time.

Jaguar XJS

The Jaguar XJ-S (later XJS) is a front engine rear-wheel drive 2+2 luxury grand tourer. It was manufactured and marketed by Jaguar from 1975 to 1996, in coupé, fixed-profile and full convertible body styles. There were three distinct iterations, with a final production total of 115,413 over 20 years and seven months.

Originally developed using the platform of the then current XJ saloon, the XJ-S was noted for its prominent rear flying buttresses. The styling was by Jaguar's pioneering aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer — one of the first designers to apply advanced aero principles to cars and who died just before the XJ-S body styling was frozen for production.

In its final iteration (1991-1996), the 2+2 was manufactured under Jaguar's ownership by Ford, who introduced numerous modifications — and eliminated the hyphen in the name, marketing Jaguar's longest running model simply as the XJS.

Jaguar XK

The Jaguar XK (XK, XK8 and XKR) is a two-door grand touring 2+2 manufactured and marketed by Jaguar Cars from 1996-2014 in coupé and convertible bodystyles, across two generations. The XK was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1996 and was last manufactured in July 2014.

The first generation was marketed as the XK8, replacing the XJS and was Jaguar's first 8-cylinder model since the Daimler 250, introducing the Jaguar AJ-V8 engine. The second generation XK, noted for its aluminium monocoque bodyshell, was launched in 2006 for model year 2007. Both generations were marketed in performance variants, as the XKR.

Land Rover

Land Rover is a luxury car brand that specialises in four-wheel-drive vehicles, owned by British multinational car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover, which has been owned by India's Tata Motors since 2008. The Land Rover is regarded as a British icon, and was granted a Royal Warrant by King George VI in 1951.The Land Rover name was originally used by the Rover Company for the Land Rover Series, launched in 1948. It developed into a brand encompassing a range of four-wheel-drive models, including the Defender, Discovery, Freelander, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and Range Rover Evoque.

Land Rovers are currently assembled in England, India, China, and other markets.

Leopard

The leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the Felidae. The leopard occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. The leopard is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because leopard populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and are declining in large parts of the global range. In Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuwait, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and most likely in Morocco, leopard populations have already been extirpated.

Contemporary records suggest that the leopard occurs in only 25% of its historical global range.

Leopards are hunted illegally, and their body parts are smuggled in the wildlife trade for medicinal practices and decoration.Compared to other wild cats, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but generally has a smaller, lighter physique. Its fur is marked with rosettes similar to those of the jaguar, but the leopard's rosettes are generally smaller, more densely packed and without central spots. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers. The leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur, opportunistic hunting behaviour, broad diet, and strength (which it uses to move heavy carcasses into trees), as well as its ability to adapt to various habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe, including arid and montane areas, and its ability to run at speeds of up to 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph).Fossil parts dating to the Late Pleistocene were excavated in Europe and Japan.

Mac OS X 10.2

Mac OS X Jaguar (version 10.2) is the third major release of Mac OS X (now named macOS), Apple's desktop and server operating system. It superseded Mac OS X 10.1 and preceded Mac OS X Panther. The operating system was released on August 23, 2002 either for single-computer installations, and in a “family pack,” which allowed five installations on separate computers in one household. The operating system was generally well received by most Mac users as a large step forward in the areas of stability, general speed enhancements, compatibility with other flavors of Unix and the lineup of both graphical and terminal applications available; however, many critics, such as Amazon.com users, still claimed that significant user interface speed issues existed and that the operating system was still a big step down from Mac OS 9.Jaguar was the first Mac OS X release to publicly use its code name in marketing and advertisements.

SEPECAT Jaguar

The SEPECAT Jaguar is a British-French jet attack aircraft originally used by the British Royal Air Force and the French Air Force in the close air support and nuclear strike role. It is still in service in significantly upgraded form with the Indian Air Force.

Originally conceived in the 1960s as a jet trainer with a light ground attack capability, the requirement for the aircraft soon changed to include supersonic performance, reconnaissance and tactical nuclear strike roles. A carrier-based variant was also planned for French service, but this was cancelled in favour of the cheaper Dassault Super Étendard. The airframes were manufactured by SEPECAT (Société Européenne de Production de l'avion Ecole de Combat et d'Appui Tactique), a joint venture between Breguet and the British Aircraft Corporation, one of the first major joint-Anglo-French military aircraft programs.

The Jaguar was exported to India, Oman, Ecuador and Nigeria. With various air forces, the Jaguar was used in numerous conflicts and military operations in Mauritania, Chad, Iraq, Bosnia, and Pakistan, as well as providing a ready nuclear delivery platform for Britain, France, and India throughout the latter half of the Cold War and beyond. In the Gulf War, the Jaguar was praised for its reliability and was a valuable coalition resource. The aircraft served with the French Air Force as the main strike/attack aircraft until 1 July 2005, and with the Royal Air Force until the end of April 2007. It was replaced by the Panavia Tornado and the Eurofighter Typhoon in the RAF and the Dassault Rafale in the French Air Force.

Tata Motors

Tata Motors Limited (formerly TELCO, short for Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company) is an Indian multinational automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Mumbai. It is a subsidiary of Tata Group, an Indian conglomerate. Its products include passenger cars, trucks, vans, coaches, buses, sports cars, construction equipment and military vehicles.Tata Motors has auto manufacturing and assembly plants in Jamshedpur, Pantnagar, Lucknow, Sanand, Dharwad, and Pune in India, as well as in Argentina, South Africa, Great Britain and Thailand. It has research and development centres in Pune, Jamshedpur, Lucknow, and Dharwad, India and in South Korea, Great Britain and Spain. Tata Motors' principal subsidiaries purchased the English premium car maker Jaguar Land Rover (the maker of Jaguar and Land Rover cars) and the South Korean commercial vehicle manufacturer Tata Daewoo. Tata Motors has a bus-manufacturing joint venture with Marcopolo S.A. (Tata Marcopolo), a construction-equipment manufacturing joint venture with Hitachi (Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery), and a joint venture with Fiat Chrysler which manufactures automotive components and Fiat Chrysler and Tata branded vehicles.

Founded in 1945 as a manufacturer of locomotives, the company manufactured its first commercial vehicle in 1954 in a collaboration with Daimler-Benz AG, which ended in 1969. Tata Motors entered the passenger vehicle market in 1988 with the launch of the TataMobile followed by the Tata Sierra in 1991, becoming the first Indian manufacturer to achieve the capability of developing a competitive indigenous automobile. In 1998, Tata launched the first fully indigenous Indian passenger car, the Indica, and in 2008 launched the Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car. Tata Motors acquired the South Korean truck manufacturer Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company in 2004 and purchased Jaguar Land Rover from Ford in 2008.

Tata Motors is listed on the (BSE) Bombay Stock Exchange, where it is a constituent of the BSE SENSEX index, the National Stock Exchange of India, and the New York Stock Exchange. The company is ranked 226th on the Fortune Global 500 list of the world's biggest corporations as of 2016.On 17 January 2017, Natarajan Chandrasekaran was appointed chairman of the company Tata Group.

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