WILDLIFE OFFICIALS WEIGH JAGUAR PROTECTION.Byline: Arthur H. Rotstein Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)
Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
The jaguar, largest cat in the Western Hemisphere Western Hemisphere
Part of Earth comprising North and South America and the surrounding waters. Longitudes 20° W and 160° E are often considered its boundaries. , is a rarity now, and federal wildlife officials have until April 1 to decide whether to list it as an endangered species endangered species, any plant or animal species whose ability to survive and reproduce has been jeopardized by human activities. In 1999 the U.S. government, in accordance with the U.S. .
They were taking comments last week on an alternative approach proposed by Arizona officials that one critic calls a sham.
A U.S. Fish and Wildlife ecologist agrees that as drawn up presently, the conservation agreement by Arizona and New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S). Game and Fish officials gives no concrete assurances to protecting jaguar habitat.
At 6 to 8 feet long and weighing up to 300 pounds, jaguars are listed as endangered in Mexico. They once roamed from northern Argentina to the Grand Canyon, and from Southern California through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and into Louisiana.
But hunted primarily for their expensive pelts or for trophy hunting, and with the riparian riparian adj. referring to the banks of a river or stream. (See: riparian rights) habitat that they favor disappearing, the cats have virtually vanished in this country - if in fact they were residents rather than just wandering visitors, officials say.
``That's actually debatable,'' said Peter Siminski, curator at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is one of the most visited attractions in Tucson, Arizona. Founded in 1952, it combines the attractions of a zoo, museum, and botanical garden. . ``I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. that they've ever actually been common. Really not much is known about what they were doing here.''
There were two video-documented sightings of jaguars in southern Arizona mountain ranges in 1996, one southwest of Tucson and the other near New Mexico. Before that, the last reported sighting occurred in 1986, when a jaguar was shot illegally in the Dos Cabezas Mountains.
``The question still exists unanswered whether those are visiting jaguars, or resident,'' said Rory Aikens, a state Game and Fish spokesman in Phoenix.
There is little if any history of jaguars preying on Arizona cattle, officials say.
Kieran Suckling, director of the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity The Center for Biological Diversity combines conservation biology with litigation, policy advocacy, and an innovative strategic vision to secure a future for animals and plants hovering on the brink of extinction, for the wilderness they need to survive, and by extension for the , said there are probably fewer than 50 jaguars in northern Mexico but more than 500 throughout the animal's range.
In 1977, Fish and Wildlife said it inadvertently failed to list the jaguar as endangered but that the five states should treat it as such.
``The states have been on notice for 20 years,'' Suckling suckling
In mammals, the drawing of milk into the mouth from the nipple of a mammary gland. In human beings, it is referred to as nursing or breast-feeding. The word also denotes an animal that has not yet been weaned—that is, whose access to milk has not yet been said. His center sued in 1993 to achieve endangered species status.
The proposed conservation agreement would set up a voluntary cooperative effort to protect the remaining jaguar population. It would have conservationists, environmentalists, state and federal agencies, ranchers and livestock operators, and other interested parties on a jaguar management committee come up with a coordinated, nonregulated approach, Aikens said.
``The real intent right now is to give the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service another option,'' he said.
In Phoenix, Fish and Wildlife ecologist Bruce Palmer said, ``We are for the conservation of the species in the most efficient and effective means possible'' either way. ``The bottom line is the conservation of the species.''
The federal agency reopened a public comment period to formally receive the conservation agreement. ``We have not made a determination whether the agreement meets the threats to the species itself,'' he said.
It needs to weigh quickly what the Endangered Species Act The federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) (16 U.S.C.A. §§ 1531 et seq.) was enacted to protect animal and plant species from extinction by preserving the ecosystems in which they survive and by providing programs for their conservation. assures vs. promises that could fall short in the conservation agreement, Palmer said.
Arizona law provides for a $750 misdemeanor fine and four months' imprisonment Imprisonment
See also Isolation.
former federal maximum security penitentiary, near San Francisco; “escapeproof.” [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 218]
German prison ship in World War II. [Br. Hist. for killing a jaguar illegally; the Endangered Species Act calls for up to a year in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Hearings on Wednesday night in Tucson and Thursday in Douglas, Ariz., and Lordsburg, N.M., were to seek public comment on how to resolve biological issues and threats to the jaguar - from highway development to maintaining habitat, he said.
Photo: The jaguar, seen here in a 1973 photo, is the largest cat in the Western Hemisphere and once ranged from Argentina to the Arizona.