You are here: home   Blogs   The GOAT Blog   Protection for jaguar spots
The GOAT Blog

Protection for jaguar spots

Document Actions
Tip Jar Donation

Your donation supports independent non-profit journalism from High Country News.

Jodi Peterson | Jan 13, 2010 03:00 PM

The mysterious jaguar, which ranges across Central and South America, has only been recorded in the southwestern U.S. a handful of times. The last known cat on this side of the border died last spring after being trapped. But jaguars once ranged from Louisiana to California, and could again, say conservationists -- if only their most vital habitat were protected.

Now, after 13 years of refusing to consider critical habitat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reversed course, saying it will create a recovery plan for the endangered big cat and map out the areas crucial for its survival. The New York Times reports:

 

Protecting the jaguar’s habitat will be a complicated challenge. The cats can range over hundreds of square miles to hunt prey, and ranchers have fiercely opposed protection.

Conservationists were exultant on Tuesday, with some predicting that the protection of such a far-ranging species could have a broader impact.

“It will reorient land conservation in the Southwest,” said Michael J. Robinson, conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity, a Tucson-based group that brought the lawsuit.

Fish and Wildlife's efforts, though, may be undermined by those of another government agency. Homeland Security has been busy fencing off the border in an attempt to stem terrorism. But those fences also make it hard for jaguar populations to move between their traditional ranges in each country.  See our story "Cat Fight on the Border".

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup |
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  5. The future of the Sacramento Delta hangs in the balance | But few Californians seem to grasp what is at stak...
  1. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  2. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  3. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  4. Will the Colorado River reach the Gulf of California once more? | Photographs of last month's historic water pulses....
  5. Locals resist a Bakkenization of the Beartooths | South-central Montanans oppose new drilling, forew...
More from Flora & Fauna
My chickens lay their own Easter eggs
Backpacking with monster skeeters An Alaska encounter with the fiercest of the 176 mosquito species that roam the U.S.
Best place to see a crowd of grizzlies A few tourists get close to amazing numbers of bears catching salmon at Alaska's McNeil River Falls.
All Flora & Fauna
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone