Fish and Wildlife Service Officially Designates Critical Habitat for Jaguars

Jaguar | Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Jaguar | Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Good news for Arizona’s elusive jaguars: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has officially designated nearly 1,200 square miles in Arizona and New Mexico as “critical habitat” for jaguars. Under the Endangered Species Act, the designation prevents the federal government from approving any development project that would render the land unfit for jaguars.

As Ruth Rudner reported in Spotted in Southern Arizona, a story in our upcoming April issue, the Fish and Wildlife Service had designated about 850,000 acres in Southeastern Arizona and Southwestern New Mexico as critical habitat for the species. The revised designation, about 765,000 acres, excludes land on the Tohono O’odham Nation and at Fort Huachuca; in both those areas, efforts to preserve the jaguars’ habitat have already been implemented, the service said in a news release.

The designation will not halt development of the controversial Rosemont copper mine. A Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman told The Arizona Republic that the mine project had been extensively studied and deemed OK to go forward.

To learn more about the world’s third-largest cats and their history in our state, pick up our April issue when it hits newsstands later this month.

5 Comments

Filed under Mother Nature, News

5 responses to “Fish and Wildlife Service Officially Designates Critical Habitat for Jaguars

  1. Such great news! I only wish they had been able to do it sooner, and that even more area could be included.

  2. Great news if Fish and Game leaves them alone. RIP Macho.

  3. I had no idea that jaguars live in AZ! Oh please, USFS, these animals are a rare and beautiful treasure; protect their habitat wisely. Thank you, AZ HWYS for helping to raise awareness of the need to preserve the jaguar!

  4. Linda Christopher

    Great news! Please leave them alone and be sure no hunters or poachers get to them!! They are gorgeous animals – must be sure to save them and keep them safe. Now on for the Mexican Grey Wolves!!!

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