4 May 2010, 10:10pm
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Legal battle brews over protection of jaguars

By Susan Montoya Bryan, Silver City Sun-News, 05/02/2024 [here]

ALBUQUERQUE - A conservation group is threatening to go another round in court over whether the federal government is doing enough to keep the endangered jaguar safe in the Southwest.

The Center for Biological Diversity is targeting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division, alleging that the traps, snares and poisons used by the agency to deal with unwanted predators and invasive species could injure or kill jaguars and smaller endangered cats known as ocelots. …

The group claims Wildlife Services and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to consult with each other on activities that might affect the jaguar and ocelot.

The group sent a notice of intent to sue to the agencies on Friday. The 18-page notice points to a 1999 biological opinion that authorizes predator-control efforts in the Southwest as long as Wildlife Services minimizes the use of traps and snares in occupied jaguar habitat. …

Wildlife Services had not received the group’s notice by late Friday, but spokeswoman Carol Bannerman said the agency always takes precautions whenever conducting projects in areas where there are threatened or endangered species.

She said Wildlife Services has consulted with the Fish and Wildlife Service about impacts to jaguars and that neither a jaguar nor ocelot has been inadvertently killed by the agency in many years.

Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Tom Buckley acknowledged that the two agencies have not consulted about potential impacts to ocelots because there have been no confirmed sightings of the small cats in Arizona in more than 40 years. … [more]



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