Tag Archives: panthera

A Q&A with Jaguar Advocate and Jag Critical Habitat Opponent Alan Rabinowitz

20 Mar

by Tony Davis / Arizona Star

Automatic wildlife cameras snapped this photo of a male jaguar on a nightly walk in the Santa Rita Mountains on Oct 25, 2012 near Tucson, Arizona

Automatic wildlife cameras snapped this photo of a male jaguar on a nightly walk in the Santa Rita Mountains on Oct 25, 2012 near Tucson, Arizona

“You don’t know how frustrated I am,” says Alan Rabinowitz, the world-renowned jaguar biologist and protector who opposes U.S. government designation of jaguar critical habitat in Southern Arizona. “I don’t like being on side of people fighting wildllands and wild spaces.

“But the worst thing is when the other side says environmentalists will do anything to get what they want. If I don’t go by the science of this issue, that is lending credence to this argument. This is what the data shows, that this is not critical habitat.”

But Rabinowitz’s critics in the environmental community say that designating at least 838,000 acres of Southern Arizona as jaguar critical habitat fits the best science, and with the Endangered Species Act’s definition of species recovery. In addition, Earth First! maintains that Rabinowitz is tainted by the fact that a mining company executive, Thomas Kaplan, is Panthera’s board chairman and helped found the group in 2006. Panthera’s web page describes Kaplan as “a passionate environmentalist and supporter of wildlife conservation.” Continue reading

A Mining Executive, A Missing Millionaire and the Weird Politics of U.S. Jaguar Conservation

21 Feb

By Panagioti Tsolkas / Earth First! Journal Collective

Untitled-1

from left to right: Thomas Kaplan, an American jaguar, Alan Rabinowitz

Thomas Kaplan isn’t your average environmentalist, big cat conservationist or your average mining executive. He isn’t even your run-of-the-mill former  hydraulic fracking company executive. He’s a sort of disturbingly post-modern mélange of these: the founder of Panthera, a global big cat conservation organization, the current chairman of NovaCopper and the founder of Leor Energy. He’s rich, influential and “green.” But is there a conflict of interest? His colleague and co-founder of Panthera, Alan Rabinowitz, has been throwing his conservation rock star weight around, adding his voice to copper mining interests in southern Arizona to discredit jaguar habitat protection in the Southwest.

If Kaplan is average, he’d be your average yuppie villain from a Carl Hiaasen novel. You know, the one that throws big parties, acts like an environmentalist, but walks through a sinister subtext just waiting to boil out of the pages.

Recently, following a financial dispute between Kaplan and his nephew Guma Aguiar over the 2.5$ billion sale of their Houston based oil and gas company Leor Energy, the latter’s boat washed ashore in Ft. Lauderdale with the owner’s wallet and phone aboard but no trace of Aguiar. He is missing, maybe even dead.

And like in all of Hiaasen’s books, a group of crusty enviros are onto Kaplan, ready to bring him and his buddy Rabinowitz down, vigilante style if need be, for meddling in jaguar conservation.

Anarchist Biology

According to a recent communique by the Earth First! Jaguar Team, a group of self-proclaimed anarchist redneck conservation biologists spread throughout the Sonoran desert of Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico proper, something sinister is a brew in the world of jaguar conservation in that region. Continue reading

“Indiana Jones of Wildlife” Joins Ranchers, Mining Executives in Opposing U.S. Jaguar Habitat

18 Feb

by the Earth First! Jaguar Team

Macho B, the last-known wild jaguar known to live in the U.S. until recent sightings, is shown in a snare in southern Arizona before his death in 2009.

Macho B, the last-known wild jaguar known to live in the U.S. until recent sightings, is shown in a snare in southern Arizona before his death in 2009.

In the world of big cat conservation, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz is a rock-star. He’s traveled the world, bushwhacking through the steaming jungles of Asia and South America, studying tigers and jaguars in an effort to protect them. He’s starred in documentaries by National Geographic, the BBC and PBS with titles like Lost Land of the Tiger, In Search of the Jaguar and Tiger Island. In 1984, he helped create the first jaguar preserve in the Western Hemisphere. Time magazine has called him the “Indiana Jones of Wildlife,” a title, according to friends and colleagues, which he savors.

So why then is Rabinowitz, founder and CEO of the wildcat conservation group Panthera, also one of the most outspoken critics of protected critical habitat for jaguars in the U.S. Southwest? Continue reading