No Defection For the American Jaguar

jaguar 004 No Defection For the American Jaguar

Upon hearing that George W. had been elected President (the first time), more than one of my friends expressed a desire to move to Canada, saying their chances for survival were far better up north. While this seems overly dramatic given that they’re all still here and still kicking, a similar sentiment would probably be spoken by the endangered American jaguar, were it able to communicate.

Unfortunately, their opportunities for defection are slim.

In a sad moment for North America’s largest wild cat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last month that it had no plans to attempt a recovery of the species. Worse yet, the installation of a border fence blocked chances of the jaguar migrating to Mexico.

Mexican jaguars, however, have a much better chance for survival with the recent conversion of 45,000 ranch acres into a habitat reserve for the animal. Located in Sonora and owned by the Mexican conservation organization Naturalia, the ranch will provide a much needed sanctuary for the known 80 to 120 surviving jaguars in the region.

“The Northern Jaguar Reserve presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save this species,” says Diana Hadley, president of the Northern Jaguar Project of Tucson (via ENS). “Even if the border fence temporarily blocks jaguar migration, the reserve will help ensure a pathway for jaguars to again roam their former range in the southwestern United States.”

Let’s hope so. Seeing as how there are no known female jaguars left in the United States, the fate of the species here looks very grim.

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