Monday, June 14, 2010

Wildlife group threatens suit against feds to protect jaguar

A wildlife group is gearing up for a fight to force the federal government to better protect jaguars, although the big cats have virtually disappeared from the country. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the Wildlife Services division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to stop the trapping, snaring and poisoning of nuisance predators that could result in the killing or endangering of jaguars and ocelots in the Southwest. Spokesman Michael Robinson said the group is concerned about anti-predator efforts in Arizona, New Mexico and possibly Texas. "They're not targeting jaguars, but if they're setting up a snare for a mountain lion, there's a chance a jaguar could end up in that snare," he said. A lawsuit could come as soon as mid-July. At the end of April, the conservation group gave the government 60 days' notice of its intent to sue. The lawsuit notice alleges that Wildlife Services and the federal Fish and Wildlife Service have failed to consult on activities that would affect both the jaguar and the ocelot. It also argues that a more than 10-year-old biological opinion on how jaguars can be affected by predator-control programs is outdated and that new scientific information shows that they need better protection...more

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