Home Northwest General Fishing & The Outdoors

Possible Jaguarundi Sighting in Our Area

I may have seen one several mornings ago right after daylight, but I'm not going to claim for certain that I did.

On North Meridian Road about a half mile south of the Double Bridges at Lake Amonia with the Richardson property on the east and River Ridge Plantation on the west side. Habitat at the spot is absolutely perfect for these exotic cats. I was southbound (within the speed limit believe it or not!) and only got a quick look at the head only, and not the full body. First quick thought was "feral cat", but head size was too large, was perfectly shaped for a Jag and the color was perfect also. I think its a pretty good probability that it was a Jag, given all of the circumstances, but I'm not going to say for sure.....don't want to be put in the category of seeing BLACK PANTHERS :grin
«1

Replies

  • BayBobBayBob Posts: 865 Officer
    Wow! Live east of the area you described near the south shore Lake Iamonia I'll keep my eyes open. A monkey at Alligator Point now this, times they are a changing.
  • capt roncapt ron Posts: 137 Deckhand
    I've seen two within a mile of each other (or the same one twice) on Magnolia Bluff and there have been reports of on SGI,
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    Not sure where Magnolia Bluff is, but about anywhere along the Coast from Cedar Key through our area will be very good to excellent habitat, especially Tate's Hell. St. George Island would be a little too dry and over-populated in my opinion, but I'm no expert on the matter. Wonder how the Jags would get over to the Island? There have been a couple of verified reports in Wakulla County, and I'm aware of one road kill on 98 between St. marks and Panacea. In all of my years in the woods I've seen one. Had a landowner with me --we were looking at his timber--and to this day he swears that it was a BIG BLACK PANTHER :hairraiser! Fellow was a Methodist Minister, but he would not believe me that it wasn't a panther!
  • capt roncapt ron Posts: 137 Deckhand
    Rich, Magnolia Bluff is along the Eastern shore of East Bay, across from Apalach. There are reports a couple of times a year around the Indian Creek drainage of jagarundi. As far as critters on SGI, I would have to assume they swam, just as the bears & coyotes that have been documented there.
  • trout069trout069 Posts: 5,456 Admiral
    I believe it. As for the monkeys,notice how none are being seen and no news. They gone.
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 5,807 Admiral
    Gary Droze said he's seen one in the St marks refuge. Hes put some time in there over the years
    You should have been here yesterday
  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,614 AG
    I have seen only one in my time up here south of Chiefland. Very round shape head, ears also kinda round and very long tail. Was sunning itself over on neighbors property. By the time I got my camera, he was gone.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked. --- Lord Chesterfield
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    You describe it perfectly, Flash, and the Gulf Hammock area was one of the two places where the original releases were made!
  • dewyafishdewyafish Posts: 5,025 Admiral
    Flash wrote: »
    I have seen only one in my time up here south of Chiefland. Very round shape head, ears also kinda round and very long tail. Was sunning itself over on neighbors property. By the time I got my camera, he was gone.

    Yep. They look like otters in low light.
    There's nothing more enjoyable than suprise morning sex...
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Unless you happen to be in jail at the time.
  • alligatoroballigatorob Posts: 197 Officer
    I believe I saw one of these a few years ago crossing 98 between Ochlocknee Bay and Panacea. Didn't know what it was until I saw this post, never heard of a Jaguarundi until now.

    At the time it looked to me kind of like a panther, but too small, so I just called it some unknown cat. Now I think I know what I saw.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    It very probably was a Jag. You described it perfectly. I've got to work most of today, but later I'll give you the "run-down" on how we got 'em!
  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,614 AG
    This was the color scheme I saw, but there are others.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked. --- Lord Chesterfield
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    When I saw the one Jag that I've seen, back some years ago, I contacted the Game Commission and discussed it with a couple of wildlife biologists since I'm in the forest/wildlife management profession. A search of Game Commission archives shows that in the time period 1959-1962, Ross Allen of Silver Springs fame had about 32 or so Jags captured alive in British Honduras (present day Belize, C.A.) and released these in the Oklawaha River area around Silver Springs. A couple of years later he had an additional 30-32 captured in B.H. and released these in the Gulf Hammock area near Chiefland-Cedar Key on the Gulf Coast. From these two release sites the cats have spread over a good bit of Central Florida and up the Gulf Coast to at least Eglin AFB near Pensacola with a couple or more sightings in the river swamps of deep southern Alabama. Also there are confirmed sightings in the river swamps of deep South Georgia just across the line from Florida. The one that I saw for sure was probably less than 10 miles from the Georgia line in Madison County, Florida.

    We have very favorable habitat for these exotic cats, just as we do for Florida Panthers. One of the basic Laws of Wildlife Biology is that: "A wildlife population will expand to fill the favorable habitat available to it". Very simple. In time more and more of these cats will be seen, road kills, hunters shooting, etc....
  • Spanky DunlapSpanky Dunlap Posts: 701 Officer
    I had to look it up. Never knew those critters were in our area. Interesting.



  • BayBobBayBob Posts: 865 Officer
    In my lifetime in Tallahassee (I'm 68) I've seen the arrival of armadillos and coyotes from the southwest and west that we didn't have growing up and become part of the local wildlife. So having jaguarndi here either through release from Silver Springs or following the armadillos and coyotes from the west makes sense to me. I spend a lot of time between Tallahassee and Alligator Point and have seen plenty coyotes (none road kill) several otters cross the road and I'll sure be on the lookout for one of these cats.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    Jags are very secretive and elusive, but keep an eye out and you may get lucky. It will happen in an instant, however, and you'll probably have only a couple of seconds opportunity. I've worked on forest/wildlife projects in the Maya Mountains of Belize where the Jagwarundi and the Jaguar population is the highest in the world, and I've seen neither there. Heard Jaguars early in the morning about daybreak, but never saw either.

    Don't think there will be any negative biological impact from having Jags here either. None of the wildlife biologists that I've associated with have any concerns. Not sure if armadillos are a prey species for Jags, but would assume so.
  • SAENoleSAENole Posts: 11,477 AG
    I thought I saw one of those things about 15 years ago on my old hunting lease in Gulf County.

    I figured I was nuts and didn't mention it to anyone, but maybe I'm not crazy after all.

    Whatever it was I bet the bears ate him.
    Warning Level 2
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 10,356 AG
    Another reason to build the wall.:wink

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • SloughSlough S.w. Ga./ St. JamesPosts: 5,594 Admiral
    Seen 2 in my life time. One next to my house. Use to hear them regularly but haven't heard one in a couple years.
    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you
  • skyway andeskyway ande Posts: 3,813 Captain
    conchydong wrote: »
    Another reason to build the wall.:wink
    LOL!
    Like a bobcat. By the time you see it its gone!
    God, save the South!
  • MadbeachMadbeach On the riverPosts: 1,015 Officer
    Have heard some old timers say they've seen them (black panthers). Personally, I've never seen anything like that and have spent quite a bit of time in the river swamps over the years. Plenty of otters, bobcat, bear, etc. Wondering if there were more sightings back around when they were let loose compared to now?
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    Don't know. Possibly were....interesting thought! As a rule, though, with releasing any species of wildlife into an area different from its home range by even a few dozen miles, the mortality rate of the releases usually will be in the 80%-90%+ range before breeding takes place! It's a pretty safe bet that of the 60+ Jags released in 1959-61, probably less than 10 survived to breed and get the cats off to a start. Habitat is excellent, however, and that is a big plus factor. Transporting any species of wildlife to a new environment is about as risky as stuffing $100.00 bills in my shirt pockets and dropping me off in the slums of Chicago! You won't get people to believe this, however. Simply look at how many "experts" are out there who are "deeply knowlegable" of deer releases in Georgia from Wisconsin-Michigan and other northern states. (Less than one dozen northern deer releases in Georgia, Oglethorpe, County, no where else, prove me wrong).
  • dewyafishdewyafish Posts: 5,025 Admiral
    Legends and maybe fables. I've heard this all my life and have seen some of these deer's descendants, I think.

    "In Duncan Dobies book "Georgia's Greatest Whitetails", There is a chapter discussing the various restocking efforts in Georgia. It talks about a group of private individuals, mostly landowners, forming the Worth County Wildlife Club and pooling resources to purchase pure Wisconsin whitetails and releasing them on several large contiguous private tracts, totaling about 40,000 acres in Worth County along Warrior and Horse Creeks around 1958.

    "In all, 96 Wisconsin whitetails were released in southern Worth county and Northern Colquitt county as the result of a concerted effort by private individuals, creating the purest strain of Wisconsin whitetails anywhere in Georgia."


    I got this from the GON Forum.
    http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?t=56779
    There's nothing more enjoyable than suprise morning sex...
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Unless you happen to be in jail at the time.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    This should be documented with the Georgia Game Commission if it did actually occur. "Thirty Days In The Electric Chair" for releasing imports without Game Commission authorization and no disease verification.

    Years ago, during my undergraduate days at the UGA forestry/wildlife school I had the good fortune to work (student employee, $1.25 per hour!) for Jack Crockford, considered to be the one man most responsible for getting Whitetails back up to hunting populations. Jack had deer captured on the Georgia coastal islands, Cumberland, etc, and released in various areas. Even these deer took very high mortality rates from being removed from local habitats. Jack always said that the one thing that brought the deer back up to huntable populations was the Game Commission's heavy enforcement of the "no-kill" policy attached to deer at that time. Game Commission undercover agents infiltrating local good ole boys was common, especially in west-central Georgia counties.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    I might have a little corn likker stuck back if you'ns wont tell on me :grin!
  • brotherinlawbrotherinlaw Posts: 3,859 Captain
    My dad talked about the deer releases in Worth county and actually donated to the effort. He said there was one white deer in the bunch released out around Tempy/Horse creek area.
  • hooknredshooknreds Posts: 2,461 Captain
    I've been told by old time residents of Early and Randolp counties that there wasn't a deer to be found in those parts back in the '60's.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    You were told correctly without doubt. In 1954 at Thanksgiving we went down to Cedar Mountain, Ga. in the Cartersville-Cedartown area fox hunting, and on the drive up the mountain a doe ran across the dirt road in front of us. We stopped and all got out to see what a deer tract looked like!
  • SloughSlough S.w. Ga./ St. JamesPosts: 5,594 Admiral
    My dad talked about the deer releases in Worth county and actually donated to the effort. He said there was one white deer in the bunch released out around Tempy/Horse creek area.

    That blood is still around and has migrated into North Mitchell C. as well.
    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you
  • DamienDamien Eastpoint Florida, Franklin CountyPosts: 1 Greenhorn
    A friend and I, driving back from the Dwarf Cypress in Tate Hell saw a 

    Jaguarundi

    today, February 9th 2020. about 1.5 to 2.0 miles from US 98. Years ago, maybe 25 or 30 years ago I read an article in an Outdoor Mag about several breeding pairs that escaped from some wealthy guy's estate after a hurricane and had gone feral in North and Central Florida. The story was fascinating and I've been looking at pictures of Jaguarundi's in mags and online ever since. Today I was rewarded. A Jaguarundi ran across the road about 50 feet in front of my van. Both I and my friend saw it quite clearly. It was a Jaguarundi, no doubt in my mind at all. After looking at all those pictures for all those years, I recognized it instantly.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Advertisement

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now