For Immediate Release
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Report Advises Trump on Survival Needs of Jaguars, Nine Other Endangered Species
SILVER CITY, N.M. - As President-elect Trump prepares to take over the executive branch, the Washington, D.C.-based Endangered Species Coalition today released a Top 10 list of endangered wildlife in need of strong protective measures. The report, “Removing the Walls to Recovery: Top 10 Species Priorities for a New Administration,” highlights the most significant threats to vanishing species ranging from elephants to corals and including jaguars, directly threatened by border walls.
The jaguar, the largest cat native to the western hemisphere, once roamed throughout much of the continental United States before disappearing due to the clearing of forests and draining of wetlands, along with hunting for pelts and to protect livestock. Currently the northernmost breeding population of jaguars is struggling to survive approximately 120 miles south of the international boundary, in the foothills of the Sierra Madres in Sonora, Mexico. The Northern Jaguar Project and Naturalia, on the Northern Jaguar Reserve, protect 115,000 acres in this area. Individual jaguars roaming the Southwest — including one spotted for the first time in Arizona in recent weeks — come from this area since extirpation of the last breeding population in the United States in the 1960s. This week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released for public comment a draft recovery plan for the jaguar.
“Extending the border wall from its present length of about 300 miles would halt jaguar recovery in our country and could doom jaguars in Mexico as well,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, which, along with the Northern Jaguar Project, nominated the jaguar to be part of today’s report. “To find mates they’re not related to, jaguars must be allowed to once again expand into historic habitats in the United States.”
The report urges the president-elect to abandon plans to further wall off the southern border and instead make existing barriers more wildlife friendly.
“In Sonora, the Northern Jaguar Project has had considerable success conserving jaguars during the last decade through an innovative program in which ranchers surrounding the reserve agree to protect carnivores and other wildlife,” said Diana Hadley of the Northern Jaguar Project. “During the past 12 years, 50 individual jaguars have been captured on automatic cameras, indicating that thoughtful, collaborative conservation measures can make a real difference.”
Other species highlighted in today’s report include the Joshua tree, elkhorn coral, greater sage grouse, yellow-faced bee, Snake River chinook salmon and African elephants — each of whose fates will be greatly influenced by actions taken in the new administration.
“Our native fish, plants and wildlife are critically valuable and part of the legacy we leave for future generations of Americans,” said Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “We hope the next administration takes seriously its responsibility to protect endangered species and habitat.”
The remaining species featured in the report are the bald cypress tree, wolf and vaquita, a small Mexican porpoise on the brink of extinction.
Endangered Species Coalition member groups nominated wildlife species for the report. A committee of distinguished scientists reviewed the nominations and decided which species should be included in the final report. The full report, along with links to photos and additional species information can be viewed and downloaded from the website, http://removingthewallstorecovery.org.
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At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.