Archive for June, 2010

US Fish and Wildlife Service invited to survey habitat destruction

June 25, 2010

Urban sprawl and loss of jaguar habitat in Arizona

Does the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fully understand  what is happening to habitat for the jaguar, Mexican wolf, ocelot, and other wide-ranging endangered species of the Southwest?  Why isn’t it moving with a sense of urgency to protect vital habitat areas besieged by runaway urban sprawl, reckless energy development projects, large-scale surface mining, expansive border fencing, and other threats?

Dr. Tony Povilitis has invited Mr. Brian Millsap, assistant regional director, and other agency decision makers on a field trip in southern Arizona to view first-hand the ongoing destruction of jaguar habitat. “We cannot wait any longer for the US Fish & Wildlife Service to take action to protect what is left of jaguar habitat,” said Dr. Povilitis upon sending the invitation (see 2nd page of his letter to Mr. Millsap, June 24, 2010).  “The time to act is now!”

In January 2010, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service agreed after many years of delay to designate for protection critical habitat for jaguars, but the process is slow and could  be hampered by bureaucratic delays. Povilitis hopes that Service officials will quickly adopt interim measures to protect vital habitat linkages, upon seeing first hand how quickly they are being destroyed.

US Fish and Wildlife Service to authorize more jaguar captures

June 5, 2010

Macho B in snare before his death

The US Fish and Wildlife Service says that it intends to allow the Arizona Game and Fish Department to again capture jaguars (see letter), despite the agency’s gross negligence and related criminal activity in the death of the Arizona jaguar known as Macho B in 2009.  The draft permit would not prevent another Macho B tragedy and would allow using snares (like the one in the photo) in an area where jaguars may occur.

We responded immediately, pointing out these problems and the absurdity of issuing a research permit to capture jaguars to a state wildlife agency with such a dismal record.