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Publishers WeeklyOver the course of 10 years, journalist and tour guide Mahler searched the Western Hemisphere for jaguars, finding recent photographs, claw marks and scat, and captive animals-but never spotted a single wild cat. Though jaguars once roamed from the southwestern U.S. through most of Central and South America, their range and numbers have dwindled to make them nearly invisible. Chronicling his travels, Mahler examines the creatures' contemporary challenges as well as the fossil record, folklore from Incan, Moche, Mayan, and other indigenous cultures, and present attempts to save the species. Mahler is a passionate advocate for environmental protection ("a planet with jaguars is infinitely richer than one without") but knows that he and his fellows are "competing against the human desire for jobs, homes, water, food, land, money, and other resources"). With many photographs, as well as details of travel through little-known territories, Mahler provides a fast-moving, ecological detective tale and a knowing conservationist wake-up call. B&w photos.
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