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.