Panthera, devoted to conserving wildcats, not thrilled by decision to set aside “critical habitat” for jaguar-
In his NYT op-ed piece yesterday, “Jaguars Don’t Live Here Anymore,” Alan Rabinowitz, head of Panthera, is not thrilled that USFWS has finally decided to start the ESA process of designating critical habitat for the jaguar in the United States. It is now possible there are no more jaguar here.
Rabinowitz argues that the United States has never been more than marginal jaguar habitat and the money should be spent recovering and protecting the real, and large, but declining jaguar population of Mexico, Central and South America.
It is true that money spent in the U.S. may be pretty marginal to conserving the species, but it’s not like there is one pot of money for the jaguar and designating critical habitat siphons money out of protecting the true jaguar population.
I would say that if USFWS completely ignored any protection for American jaguar, not an extra dime would be generated for south of the border efforts. On the other hand, efforts at jaguar restoration where Americans live will likely generate interest and support for jaguar conservation in general.