Jaguars seen in Southwestern U.S.

October 10, 2006

Male jaguars are reportedly crossing into the Southwestern United States from Mexico, often using the same routes as drug smugglers.

Although nobody knows exactly how many jaguars have wandered into southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico from their Mexican breeding grounds, several organizations are working to protect the threatened species, The New York Times reported.

Conservationists, upset over the killing of the animals by Mexican bounty hunters, want U.S. federal officials to declare parts of Arizona and New Mexico critical habitat for jaguars. But opponents say that's unnecessary since the animals show no signs of breeding in the United States.

Jaguars once roamed much of the Southwestern United States, as well as Central and South America, but they were trapped and hunted to near extinction as U.S. ranchers took cattle into the region, the newspaper said. The last known resident U.S. female jaguar was killed in 1963 near the Grand Canyon.

Conservationists are worried about a planned 700-mile-long fence along the U.S.-Mexican border. Jon Schwedler of the Northern Jaguar Project told the Times, if such a barrier is built, "it'd be all over ... you could kiss the jaguar goodbye."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Guyana pledges to protect jaguars (Update)

Related Stories

Guyana pledges to protect jaguars (Update)

January 24, 2013

The lushly forested nation of Guyana on Thursday joined a regional pact to protect jaguars, the elusive spotted cat that is the biggest land predator in the Americas but is vulnerable due to expanded agriculture and mining ...

Central America Agrees to Jaguar Corridor

May 24, 2006

A group of environment ministers representing the seven nations of Central America and Mexico have agreed to establish a network of protected areas and wildlife corridors to safeguard jaguar populations, according to the ...

Recommended for you

Horn of Africa drying ever faster as climate warms

October 9, 2015

The Horn of Africa has become increasingly arid in sync with the global and regional warming of the last century and at a rate unprecedented in the last 2,000 years, according to new research led by a University of Arizona ...

Scientists paint quantum electronics with beams of light

October 9, 2015

A team of scientists from the University of Chicago and the Pennsylvania State University have accidentally discovered a new way of using light to draw and erase quantum-mechanical circuits in a unique class of materials ...

A mission to a metal world—The Psyche mission

October 9, 2015

In their drive to set exploration goals for the future, NASA's Discovery Program put out the call for proposals for their thirteenth Discovery mission in February 2014. After reviewing the 27 initial proposals, a panel of ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.