Fish and Wildlife Service Wants More Room for Jaguars

Oct 22, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An environmental group is pressing federal officials to set aside millions of acres in Arizona and New Mexico for jaguars.

Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity recently told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that jaguars need more than the 1,300 square miles the agency proposed in August. Robinson says a jaguar reintroduction program, similar to the one for Mexican gray wolves, also is needed.

New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association executive director Caren Cowan called the idea "ridiculous" and said there is no need to add land restrictions for an animal that can't survive in the region.

The endangered jaguar, the largest cat native to the Western hemisphere, was thought to have been eliminated in the U.S. by 1990 until two were spotted in 1996 in southern Arizona.