08 November 2010 Jaguar Decision Delayed Posted by: James Navarro | 2 comments | Share: America’s biggest cat will have to wait another year for habitat protections, federal wildlife officials said in a letter last month. Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service settled lawsuits brought by the Center for Biological Diversity to establish critical habitat for the jaguar and a separate challenge from Defenders seeking a recovery plan for the endangered cat. But authorities say it will take another year to fully analyze potential habitat in the U.S., according to a Scientific American report. A critical habitat designation would help identify and protect the areas jaguars need to find food, shelter and possibly mates. Habitat loss, population growth and over hunting have taken a heavy toll on these spotted felines. Researchers think that the northern fringes of the jaguar’s range, in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, will become increasingly important to its survival as deforestation and development destroy habitat throughout Mexico, Central and South America. Jaguars once widely roamed from South America across the Southwest to Texas. But habitat loss, population growth and over hunting have taken a heavy toll on these spotted felines. By the mid-20th century, jaguars were all but exterminated in the U.S. Macho B in a snare The Last One Macho B—the last known jaguar to regularly prowl Arizona’s outback—was put down in March 2009 after the large male’s kidneys failed, a condition blamed, in part, on stress related to his capture. Twelve days earlier, researchers found the 15-year-old cat with his front paw dangling in a snare that was meant for bears and cougars. Few jaguars are seen crossing over the U.S.-Mexico border, where the 670-mile-long border wall threatens migration corridors linking habitats in both countries. Researchers had hoped that Macho B would teach them more about jaguar movements. He was tranquilized, collared with a radio tracking device and then set free. But instead of insight, the radio broadcasted trouble, showing that Macho B’s movements had become slow and irregular. Tests later revealed that his kidneys were failing so severely that he would not recover. And Arizona’s last known wild jaguar was euthanized at the Phoenix Zoo. Give a Gift that Helps Save Jaguars Jaguar adoptions are a great way to share your appreciation for these fantastic felines while helping to support Defenders’ work on their behalf. Save Something Wild! Visit our Wildlife Adoption Center to adopt a jaguar or one of our 26 other imperiled animals today! 2 Responses to “Jaguar Decision Delayed” Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Safety Pens Mean Peace of Mind in Panther Country For Floridians who live alongside Florida panthers, coexistence means finding ways to protect both their beloved pets and these critically endangered cats. Building an enclosure is a great solution, especially for backyard animals. It’s Time to Act for Right Whales Years after they agreed to expand critical habitat for endangered North Atlantic right whales, we’re still waiting on NMFS to follow through. So we took to the courts to get this much-needed protection in place. How Should We Honor Earth Day? America has many worldwide firsts in conservation: we were the first nation to establish a national park, the first to create a national wildlife refuge, the first to approve a law protecting endangered species and the first to create a national day dedicated to conservation, Earth Day. But today, we are experiencing another period of crisis in America’s commitment to conservation. When did conservation become a polarizing political issue, when it has been, for the past century, a defining characteristic of American values and the American spirit?