Carnivore conservation has a great story on the slow and threatened return of the jaguar to the American Southwest.

If the border fence is built, I think part of the plan should be a reintroduction of jaguar.

Note that President Bush recently signed an authoization to build a 700 mile fence along the Arizona/Mexico border, but authorizations require appropriations. These are often not forthcoming, and the whole thing might be an election year stunt. In the next Congress conservationists should lobby for jaguar money.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

2 Responses to Gone for Decades, Jaguars Steal Back to the Southwest

  1. I’m just wandering if the fact that some jaguars are in southwest could legally stop the building of the border fence ? It was not obvious in the article what is the legal status of the jaguar in the US (is it listed ?)

  2. avatar Jean Ossorio says:

    The jaguar was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1997, following a lengthy legal and grassroots campaign by the Center for Biological Diversity.

    You can learn much more about the subject (and about the numerous roadblocks on the path to jaguar recovery) by going to their web site and looking through the “Late Breaking News” section. There have been a number of press releases archived there, including one on the lawsuit (URL below).

    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/press/jaguar-07-12-2006.html

    Whether or not the fence can be stopped by invoking the ESA is questionable. Ultimately, the courts will probably decide, unless the political winds change in the meantime and funding for the fence is never appropriated.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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