Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Praise decision to dedicate land to the protection of the American jaguar.
Efforts to protect the American jaguar have been strengthened with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently proposing to protect 838,232 acres of land (approximately the size of Rhode Island) in southern New Mexico and Arizona. The land, considered by many to be a “critical habitat” for the large cat species, has been an area of concern for conservationists—especially as these jaguars have been pushed into an area a fraction of the size of their former territory.
“Jaguars once roamed across the United States, from California to Louisiana, but have been virtually extinct here since the 1950s,” explained Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). Over the last 20 years, the CBD has spent a considerable amount of time dedicated to expanding the habitat of the American jaguars. “Today’s habitat proposal will ensure North America’s largest cat returns to the wild mountains and deserts of the Southwest. Jaguars are a spectacular part of our natural heritage and belong to every American—just as surely as bald eagles, wolves and grizzly bears.”
Due to past predator-killing programs implemented by the federal and state governments, jaguars were practically run out of the United States: and in 1997, jaguars were formally listed as an “endangered species”. Only in the past two decades have the animals been able to reclaim areas of Arizona and New Mexico. By offering protection to this area, the hope is that the jaguar will be able to replenish its decreasing numbers.
“You can’t protect endangered species without protecting the places they live. Species with protected critical habitat recover twice as fast as those without it,” explained Suckling. “This wild expanse of habitat is a huge boost to the return of jaguars to the American Southwest.” Because of this recent decision on the part of the FWS, the jaguar has a fighting chance of regaining its numbers and populations.
Dear Members of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
I would like to thank you for your recent proposal to protect 838,232 acres of land as “critical habitat” for the American jaguar. In the past, populations of jaguars have been slowly declining due to excessive hunting and habitat reduction. By allowing the animal to have this safe haven, it can be hoped that the animal will replenish in numbers and step away from the precipice of near-extinction.
Your work in protecting the jaguar is admirable and will help to ensure that America’s largest cat will be able to reclaim mountain and desert areas it once used to call home. As with other notable animals in America’s history (bald eagles, grizzly bears, and wolves), populations of American jaguars have decreased due to human encroachment, and only with human intervention will the animal be able to survive. Because of this, I praise your commitment to the protection and safety of the American jaguar. Thank you.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service