Thursday, July 07, 2016

Center of Biological Diversity files notice of intent to sue to protect El Jefe's territory

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act for its approval of a controversial open pit copper mine in the heart of the home territory of El Jefe, America’s only known jaguar. The agency issued a formal biological opinion in April that would allow the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine in southern Arizona to harm or kill El Jefe and destroy his home, despite the fact that it’s located in protected “critical habitat” on public land that’s essential to the recovery of jaguars in the United States. "If we want jaguars like El Jefe to roam wild again in the mountains of the American Southwest, we must protect places like Rosemont,” said Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the center. “Rosemont is not only prime jaguar habitat — as El Jefe proved by living there the past few years — it’s also a critically important movement corridor for all jaguars that attempt to return to ancestral territories in the U.S.” The Rosemont mine would create a mile-wide, 3,000-foot-deep open pit in El Jefe’s home territory and bury thousands of acres of surrounding public land with more than a billion tons of toxic mine waste. The mine would also pump a vast amount of groundwater, which threatens to dry up springs and creeks in the area that are critically important to jaguars and several other protected species. In draft biological opinions, Fish and Wildlife’s own scientists concluded that the mine should not be permitted, but the agency ignored their findings in issuing its approval...more

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