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Hurdles Remain for U.S. Jaguar Habitat

24 Jan

By Leslie Macmillan / New York Times Green

[Fish and Wildlife Service] A jaguar observed last October by a camera trap in southern Arizona.

[Fish and Wildlife Service] A jaguar observed last October by a camera trap in southern Arizona.

Last fall, remote cameras in a rugged expanse of desert grasslands in Southern Arizona captured arresting images of a jaguar slinking through the underbrush, its yellow eyes fixed on some distant sight. The photos add to the dozen or so documented sightings of the endangered cat on American soil in the last century.

The monitoring project, conducted by the University of Arizona in conjunction with the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, is providing data that will inform decisions about a proposed critical habitat for the big cat: 838,000 acres in Southern Arizona and New Mexico, an area roughly the size of Rhode Island. Continue reading