The jaguar’s current range extends from Mexico, through Central America and into South America, including much of Amazonian Brazil.
The countries included in this range are Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, United States and Venezuela.
The jaguar is now extinct in El Salvador and Uruguay.
The United States is included in the list based on occasional sightings in the south-west, particularly in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Although the jaguar prefers dense forest and lives mainly in South and Central American rain forests, it is occasionally found in open, seasonally-flooded wetlands and dry, grassland terrain.
The jaguar prefers to live by rivers, swamps and in dense rainforest with thick cover for stalking prey.