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US Will Not Implement Jaguar Recovery Plan

January 23, 2008.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week that it would not be developing a recovery plan for jaguars in the southwestern United States, stating that a recovery plan for the endangered jaguar would not advance the conservation of the big cat. The vast majority of jaguars and jaguar habitat lay south of the United States.

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2006 photo of a male jaguar in the US

Only four documented jaguar sightings have occurred in the US since 1996, and all of these have been of males. The absence of females in the US led the USFWS to conclude that there are no resident breeding populations north of the border.

Critics of the decision question whether it was influenced by political considerations, specifically US government intentions to build a border fence that has been criticized for the way in which it will prevent jaguar and other wildlife from moving and migrating freely through their habitat.

Lion hunters in Arizona and New Mexico have been key players in sighting the cats.

Noted Arizona lion hunter and rancher Warner Glenn (who subsequently appeared in Ruger ads) took the first-ever photos of a jaguar in the US in 1996 when his hounds brought the cat to bay.

For a really interesting article about Glenn's jaguar encounter, see this piece in the New York Times.

 

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