American Jaguar

Big Cats, Biogeography, and Human Borders

  • Interest Level: Grade 8 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

In the borderlands between the United States and Mexico, America’s largest cat—the jaguar—is fighting to regain its kingdom. Added to the endangered species list in 1997, the jaguar has declined in population mainly due to habitat fragmentation created by roads, farms, mines, and most controversially, the border wall. Such human-made barriers prevent free movement of many wild animals for predation and mating, thereby threatening their reproduction, DNA transfer, and overall survival. Author and wildlife biologist Elizabeth Webb examines the jaguar’s predicament and highlights the work of field scientists who are searching for solutions. “Conservation Connection” features throughout the book underscore the importance of protecting this keystone species of the Americas.

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Interest Level Grade 8 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 8
Genre Science, Young Adult
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, 5KN: Traditional Nonfiction, Animals, STEM, STEM: Life Science/Animals
Copyright 2022
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 128
Publication Date 2021-11-02
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS YAN003010, YAN050080, YAN052040
Dewey 333.95/9755
Dimensions 6 x 9
Lexile 1170
Features Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Charts/Graphs/Diagrams, Glossary, Primary source quotations/images, Reviewed, Sidebars, Source notes, and Starred Reviews

Author: Elizabeth Webb

Elizabeth Webb is a writer living in New Mexico, not far from the where the Borderlands jaguars roam. She's spent much of her adult life exploring and photographing the plants and animals of the Desert Southwest. This is her first book for young people.


  • Green Earth Book Award, Commended, 2022
  • Kirkus Best Teen Books of the Year, Winner, 2021


Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

“After reading this, the reader will be mesmerized by the plight of animals such as the jaguar, and will surely want to be a part of the solution.” –Children’s Literature

Kirkus Reviews

“A powerful call to protect our Earth and its vulnerable creatures.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews