Archive for July, 2007

Phoenix Zoo link

July 31, 2007

Hi- the Phoenix Zoo’s conservation newsletter has a good article about jaguars in the Southwest (including a picture of Macho B) along w/ interesting blurbs about ocelots in Sonora and thick-billed parrot re-introduction. Check it out!

Jaguar Update

July 28, 2007

Hello- I heard from Emil McCain of the Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project today and he shared some interesting information on upcoming magazine articles (and one tv show!) on his research and SW jags. Here’s Emil: The Aududon article has been fact-checked and edited and is scheduled for publication in Sept. The Smithsonian is in the editing process and I just heard that they decided to do a larger feature story and will need to push the publication date back to Nov to make enough space for all they want to do. The High Country News is still in the writing stage. History channel interviews are done and I think they are shooting for a winter airing.


This is a pic of Emil in the field. Please help him to continue working with jaguars by donating at his website. Thanks!

BTW, in the next few days I’ll be posting a Q&A w/ the Center for Biological Diversity’s Michael Robinson, author of Predatory Bureaucracy. Stay tuned for that!

Required reading

July 27, 2007

I’ll eventually make up a list of jaguar books I recommend but anyone interested in SW jaguars must read David Brown & Carlos Lopez Gonzalez’s Borderland Jaguars/Tigres de la Frontera. It’s packed with info, photos and maps. You may not agree with their conclusions but it’s an excellent book!


Critical Habitat

July 25, 2007

Hi- Here’s some news from AZ Game and Fish (below in italics) re: critical habitat and legal wrangling. Any opinions out there? Bill

Endangered Species Updates
July 24, 2007

On July 3, 2007, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne received from Forest Guardians a 60-day Notice of Intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over failure to designate critical habitat and develop a recovery plan for the jaguar. A 60-day notice is required under the citizen suit provision of the ESA prior to an actual lawsuit being filed; a potential plaintiff may or may not choose to file an actual lawsuit once the NOI “ripens” after 60 days. A copy of the NOI letter will be provided at the next Jaguar Conservation Team (JAGCT) meeting, on October 25, 2007, as an informational item. However, interested parties are reminded now that I am unaware of any change in the FWS’ position that designating critical habitat for the jaguar in the United States is not prudent (USFWS cannot designate critical habitat in a foreign country), and the JAGCT conservation work is its framework for jaguar conservation efforts in Arizona and New Mexico. Moreover, please recall that the JAGCT Scientific Advisory Group (JAGSAG) has advised JAGCT that from a science perspective habitat in United States is not critical to recovery of the jaguar on a rangewide basis. Persistence of jaguars in the Arizona-New Mexico borderlands is heavily dependent on jaguar population health and stability in northern Mexico, protection against unlawful killing in the U.S. and Mexico, and maintenance of movement corridors along the U.S.-Mexico borders. The quality and amount of potential jaguar habitat in the United States is simply not sufficient to support a viable (self-sustaining) population separate from Mexico. The JAGSAG includes several of the most preeminent jaguar scientists in the world, and their insights continue to help guide JAGCT.

7/26/07 Does anyone know if the critical habitat section of the ESA is usually applied this way? In other words does the rangewide status determine how habitat is designated? I’m just wondering if this is standard operating procedure or out of the ordinary.

7/27/07 Here’s an interesting pdf from the federal Fish and Wildlife Service.


July 24, 2007

Thanks to Emil McCain for allowing me to post these pics. This is what we want to save: the jaguar and its wild habitat.Macho B001.jpg

Emil McCain

July 24, 2007

For the past few years as I have sought information on the jags in Arizona and the Southwest, one person has consistently been generous with his time, information and opinions. That person is Emil McCain. Along with Jack Childs, Emil runs the cameras that have proven the existence of jaguars in the US. Emil’s program relies on donations and his funding has become critically low. I urge all concerned lovers of jaguars to visit the Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project site ( and donate funds so that this vital work can continue. In addition, be sure to look for Jack’s forthcoming book Ambushed on the Jaguar Trail.


Welcome to my Southwest jaguar blog

July 23, 2007

Hello, and welcome to my Southwest jaguar blog. I hope this page will become the place to come for the latest news on these beautiful cats, interesting discussions, Q&A’s with some of the principals involved and a place to connect with other like-minded souls interested in the survival of the jaguar in Arizona, New Mexico (and of course, Sonora). To be honest I feel like a cult of one; I’m up in Colorado surfing the web for info, emailing everyone I can think of and still I feel like the only person in the state who cares (or even knows) that there are jaguars in the US.

First off, a little about me. I’m a jaguar fanatic from way back. I’d have to say it all started with Alan Rabinowitz’s book Jaguar (which I highly recommend if you haven’t already read it). I even wrote him a fan letter which he responded to with a very kind postcard from Asia. I was in graduate school in Tucson at the time and the 1986 killing of a jag in the Dos Cabezas Mountains only added fuel to the fire. The 1996 Arizona sightings by Warner Glenn (see Eyes of Fire) and Jack Childs (Tracking the Felids of the Borderlands) thrilled me beyond words. Since then I have followed the big cat’s return to my natal state (AZ) with a mixture of pride and apprehension. Pride that there’s still room for such a lovely animal in the crowded SW and apprehension that the toe-hold is so tenuous that it will soon be swept away by a border fence, political in-fighting between conservationists and researchers and, most likely, by apathy from the populace at large. So maybe this blog can change that a little!

For an excellent overview of the story of the jaguar’s return to the Southwest and the efforts to identify Macho A and Macho B (the beautiful male jaguars found in Arizona- Macho B is still wandering out there!) see Wild Cat News here and click on the article entitled “The Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project.”

Let me say that any opinions I express are solely mine. I don’t work for, represent or shill for any group of any stripe. I’m a librarian for crying out loud! 😉

One more thing: I envision this blog as a place to discuss jaguars in the Southwest. Inevitably the subject of the feds’ plans to build a border fence will come up. I welcome debate on the fence and its impact on jags and other cross-border wildlife. However, I do not want to get into any messy political arguments about undocumented workers/illegal aliens/terrorists/human rights/etc, etc. This is a blog about the largest cat in the New World, if you want to talk politics there are other places to do so. Thanks!

I hope that in time this page will look a bit more slick. I’m just learning this whole blog thing. Thanks for your patience!