Archive for July, 2011

Conservation Task Force Begins!

July 8, 2011
Connectivity Conservation Task Force for Endangered Carnivores of the Southwest: On June 21, Dr. Tony Povilitis of the JHC met via conference call with officials of the US Fish & Wildlife Service to launch the Task Force. Members of the jaguar and Mexican wolf recovery teams and a county natural resource official also participated. We agreed to advance on-the-ground collaborative conservation of wildlife linkages relevant to endangered carnivore recovery. This is a huge and necessary challenge that involves effectively working (depending on area) with: county officials, private landowners, state land management agencies, state departments of transportation, the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, the US Army (e.g., Fort Huachuca, AZ), the Federal Highway Administration, the Western Governors Association, the Department of Homeland Security (in connection with wildlife corridors between the U.S. and Mexico) among others. There are some 20 wildlife habitat linkages important for endangered jaguar, Mexican wolf, and ocelot in the region. The Task Force will have to align the resources (people and money) needed to meet this challenge. The US Fish & Wildlife Service, the agency responsible for endangered species recovery in America, needs to gear up for this. For now, an immediate task force goal is to contact and begin work with county planners and conservation minded-people on a county-by-county basis, specifically by triggering corridor conservation workshops that address the areas important for endangered carnivore recovery.  Check back for future updates!