A huge amount of land in Southern Arizona and New Mexico, once home to the endangered jaguar, now has critical-habitat status. Michael Robinson with the Center for Biological Diversity says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service action is linked to a lawsuit from his organization. The critical habitat designation covers slightly more than 750-thousand acres – about 12-hundred square miles. Robinson explains the move will connect habitats.
Robinson says it is believed there is a breeding population of jaguars in northern Mexico, and they could migrate to the US. Meanwhile, Steve Spangle, field supervisor for Fish and Wildlife, says his agency was opposed to the critical-habitat designation because research shows it would provide only a limited benefit to the animal. He says the "core range" for jaguars is south of the U-S border.