By Alan Rabinowitz
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Extra info for An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar
Home to the modern-day countries of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan, the river systems of the Caspian Sea region provided ideal migratory corridors for the jaguar as it moved south of the Caucasus, skirting Siberia and up towards the Beringia land bridge to enter North America, where it arrived approximately one million years ago. The travel pathway negotiated by these jaguars from Europe through Asia and into North America, often with extensive disruptions in time and space, is what I call the Pleistocene 16 An Indomitable Beast Jaguar Corridor, the precursor of the modern-day Jaguar Corridor.
The realization that jaguars had not only survived dramatic climatic shifts that caused massive extinctions among many other big cat species, but also had navigated circumpolar travel routes to bring them to their current range, reaffirmed my conviction that the jaguar could provide insights into survival and extinction in an uncertain and rapidly changing world. With the extinction of the Eurasian jaguar, the future of the species now hinged on the North American jaguar. Starting in the early Pleistocene, perhaps a million years ago, when the jaguar crossed Beringia into the New World, the species kept moving southward, becoming part of what paleontologist S.
8 million years ago, the jaguar is on the scene in Central Asia. Morphological similarities of Asian jaguar fossils of the late Lower Pleistocene and those from Central and Western Europe suggest an extended period of uninterrupted contact between the jaguar populations of Europe and Western Asia. Assuming a preference for riparian areas in forest and open grasslands like their modern-day counterparts, the area surrounding the Caspian Sea provided ideal conditions for the further development of the Eurasian jaguar until the severe climatic disruptions of the Pleistocene glacial-interglacial periods forced the dispersal of the species.
An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz