Jaguars in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico will have it easier thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which just named 764,000 acres as critical habitat for the beautiful cats. But as usual in these big decisions, the Feds were pushed by a conservation group working to protect the predators from the real predators in the U.S. Southwest: energy companies and mining operators.
The Tucson Sentinel reports that the federal agency designated the jaguar habitat only after the Center for Biological Diversity sued. It’s another big win for the CBD, which is focused on fighting for species and biodiversity by using the law of the land.
The 1,200 square miles of protected habitat means the jaguars will finally have room to roam on this side of the U.S. border, 17 years after the Center for Biological Diversity successfully sued the federal government for protection of the big cats under the U.S. Endangered Species laws.
With the habitat officially in place, the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine on jaguar land in the Santa Rita Mountains has little chance of becoming a reality. Welcome back to the USA, jaguars!