The Jaguar's Shadow Searching for a Mythic Cat Richard Mahler

Publication date:
07 Sep 2009
Yale University Press
376 pages: 235 x 156 x 25mm
41 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

Buy this eBook

You can purchase this title from a number of online retailers:

In the tradition of Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard, an intimate portrait of the endangered, exotic, and elusive jaguar

When the nature writer Richard Mahler discovers that wild jaguars are prowling a remote corner of his home state of New Mexico, he embarks on a determined quest to see in the flesh a big, beautiful cat that is the stuff of legend—yet verifiably real.

Mahler’s passion sets in motion a years-long adventure through trackless deserts, steamy jungles, and malarial swamps, as well as a confounding immersion in centuries-old debates over how we should properly regard these powerful predators: as varmints or as icons, trophies or gods? He is drawn from border badlands south to Panama’s rain forest along a route where the fate of nearly all wildlife now rests in human hands. Mahler’s odyssey introduces him to unrepentant poachers, pragmatic ranchers, midnight drug-runners, ardent conservationists, trance-induced shamans, hopeful biologists, stodgy bureaucrats, academic philosophers, macho hunters, and gentle Maya Indians. Along the way, he is forced to reconsider the true meaning of his search—and the enduring symbolism of the jaguar.

Richard Mahler is an award-winning writer, editor, and tour guide based in Silver City, New Mexico. He is the author or co-author of ten books, and his reporting on the environment, health, travel, arts, and culture also circulates via newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and public radio.

"Mahler's urgent quest is twofold: to see and to understand the illusive jaguar. From rainforest to chaparral he goes, and the reader is his enthralled companion; the jaguar his beneficiary."--Archie Carr III, Wildlife Conservation Society

"A compilation of economic, cultural and ecological aspects gives a comprehensive portrait of the jaguar. A book that will impassion anyone interested in the majestic predator." Geraldine Veron, MAMMALIA – National d’Histoire Naturelle