Arizona is home to four different species of wildcats including the third largest felid in the world. Wildcats of all species are capable of taking prey much larger than themselves and seemingly impossible feats of athleticism. Feared, loathed, and worshiped, wildcats have had a varied relationship with humans from the beginnings of time. From Jaguars to bobcats, learn about these misunderstood predators starting with their fossil origins and ancestors to their current ecology with Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Jeff Meyers.
Jeff Meyers grew up in western Massachusetts, but has been a resident of Arizona for more than 25 years, where he attended Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University for his undergraduate and graduate degrees, respectively. It was during his undergraduate work studying Physical Anthropology, and while attending a field school in South Africa, that he realized his true passion was with mammalian carnivores and not members of the Hominini. He then went on to earn his M.Sc. in Quaternary Sciences with a primary focus on the taxonomic validity of a Pleistocene marten (Mustelidae) using geometric morphometric analyses. After spending several years teaching Earth Science, he left the sciences for more than half a decade to work as the Director of Intellectual Property for a medical device company. Returning to his passion, Jeff is now a wildlife biologist for the Arizona Game & Fish Department, managing the Wildlife Viewing Program, and enjoys working to educate the public about wildlife and habitat conservation. He oversees a multifaceted program that engages the public through a statewide lecture series, hosting public field events and activities that range from bat netting to bighorn sheep viewing aboard pontoon boats, and a series of live streaming wildlife cams.