PHOTO: John Schaefer
Bobcat kittens play at a Tucson-area home, in a photo taken by John Schaefer.

The University of Arizona's Center for Wild Cat Research and Conservation Center recently received a federal contract to study jaguar movement in Southern Arizona, using motion-sensor cameras as part of a contract from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Lisa Haynes, the Wild Cat Center coordinator, says not much is known about jaguars in the southern part of the state. The project will look for jaguars throughout Southern Arizona, but will focus on the area between Interstate 10 and the international border with Mexico, Haynes says.

"We know very, very little," she says, "There have, with this last one, been a total of five verified sightings, but that's since 1996."

The center studies big cats, including bobcats, mountain lions and ocelots, all of which live in Southern Arizona.