The use of wildlife corridors to maintain landscape connectivity has become increasingly relevant to the conservation of wide-ranging species, including the jaguar Panthera onca. Jaguars are particularly threatened in Mexico, where corridor linkages are tenuous as a result of habitat fragmentation. Our study assessed a section of potential corridor south of the Sierra Madre Oriental in eastern Mexico. We conducted 245 interviews with local inhabitants in 140 36-km2 sampling units over a 5-month period and compiled detection histories for jaguars and five prey species: collared peccary Pecari tajacu, red brocket deer Mazama americana, white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus, spotted paca Agouti paca, and nine-banded armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus. These detection histories were then analysed using site occupancy modelling. Each sampling unit was assigned a probability of habitat use based on (1) the two smaller prey species (paca and armadillo) and (2) at least two of the larger prey species (collared peccary and two deer species) using habitat in that unit. This probability estimate was considered a proxy for the prey base of each sampling unit and therefore the unit's suitability as a jaguar corridor. Although the prey base in some areas appears adequate to support a jaguar population, large-scale development projects and the paucity of jaguar sign are major obstacles to this region's potential as a jaguar corridor. Our results suggest that the eastern coast of Mexico may not be a priority area for range-wide jaguar conservation.