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Last known jaguar in U.S. may have died, but the fight goes on

By Gary Bogue
Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 9:46 am in Endangered species, Jaguar.

Candid jaguar video in Brazil so you can see what they look like. /Gary

Video by YouTube user annamelie78 used under Creative Commons license.

Exactly three weeks after the death of Macho B, the last known jaguar in the United States, on Monday (March 23) a federal court heard oral arguments in the Center for Biological Diversity’s bid to win a federal recovery plan and protected habitat areas for the endangered species.

According to a weekly e-newsletter I just received from the Center, the hearing went very well. They said the judge “peppered the government lawyer with difficult questions and clearly was skeptical of the agency’s changing litany of arguments.”

Though jaguars were declared endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1997 — thanks to another Center lawsuit — the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has done nothing to recover the species or protect its habitat.

The newsletter continues:
“In a cruel irony, the agency argues that it doesn’t need to protect the jaguar because it’s too endangered. That’s right — because the great cat’s U.S. range has shrunk to near nothing, the agency argues it’s too small to protect. Presumably, if the jaguar were less endangered, it would receive more protection?”

Read more in the Arizona Daily Star

And check out this post-hearing video clip featuring Center jaguar specialist Michael Robinson. It also has some great jaguar photos:

I’m sure the border fence they’ve been building to try and keep illegal immigrants from sneaking across the Mexican-U.S. border hasn’t helped the endangered jaguar’s habitat problems one little bit. That fence is, in fact, a big part of the jaguar’s problems. /Gary

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