And where is the jaguar habitat in the US, anyway?
An animal may only classify for protection under the U.S. endangered species act if it has a breeding population within the United States. Although it is known that the jaguar range once extended into a considerable portion of the US, in recent years it was believed that our breeding population was extinct and that the only jaguars in the U.S. were individuals occasionally crossing over from Mexico. Ranchers on the borderlands were not excited about the idea of having a protected animal on their ranch lands, so investigation into the actual numbers and U.S. range of the animal was made politically difficult. It was not until recently that a southwest U.S. breeding population was verified, thus opening the door for legal protection.
Wow, I had no idea. That is very cool (the part about jaguars existing in the Southwest US).
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