Sunday, April 12, 2009

Seriously, another Mucho B story?

I still go back to the theory that while some researchers had an agenda behind getting the jaguar trapped, overall G+F did not, so if anything, we should be on this fired employee and the Borderlands Jaguar Project... The researcher just didn't realize the results of what her actions were going to be, and now everyone is playing CYA. Especially Emil McCain from Borderlands Jaguar Project, who's funding relies on proof of a jaguar taking up residence, not seasonal migration into, Southern Arizona.

Not the G+F departments fault. 

As far as they knew, when they showed up to the trap, it was a complete surprise. They were used by Emil McCain and Janay Brun to further their agenda with the Jaguars. And why do I think they had an agenda? More fence is being built along the border, more illegals are crossing through the very terrain that the Jaguars rely on, and if the jaguars are merely opportunistic seasonal residents, and not permanent to the area... they go away, so does the Borderlands Jaguar Project.

Here's quote from Emil McCain I found, think it sheds some light on the subject:
EM: Yes. The Border Patrol policy right now is to completely cut off all traffic in the lowlands, forcing all illegal traffic (both migrant workers and narcotic traffickers) into the mountain ranges that span or approach the international border. Those mountains also happen to be the only existing habitat in the U.S. for a species that is very sensitive to human disturbance. The 14-18 foot steel pedestrian fences that have recently been built were said to not likely affect jaguars because they could just walk around the end of the wall. (It took awhile for border patrol to figure out that the human border crossers could do the same thing.) Because jaguars are sensitive to human disturbance, the remaining unfenced areas are likely no longer suitable habitat for jaguars since the level of human activity from border crossers has greatly increased. Jaguars need cross border connectivity with populations in Mexico to sustain/recover in the U.S. There has not been any known reproduction [in the U.S.] since 1910 and the last female was killed in 1963. Therefore, jaguars in the U.S. are completely dependent on dispersal from a reproducing population in Mexico. Maintaining habitat connectivity across the border is essential.

Read: they are not a local population, but migrate in from time to time (not since 1910, 100 years ago) and a fence is bad!

And again:

Although there is no evidence of a female in Arizona—the last breeding female on the U.S. side of the border was documented in 1963—McCain figures that if only one were present in those 13 years since Macho B's been here and she had cubs every two to three years, if half survived, she would've had three to five young in the borderlands area in the last 10 years. "If one of those was a female cub, there could be more," he says.

With 30 percent of the land in Arizona suitable habitat for jaguars and only 12 percent surveyed, the idea of a resident female isn't that farfetched. But either way, the survival of a U.S. jaguar population is absolutely dependent on the Mexico population, says McCain. The 700-mile border fence being erected to stop Mexican immigrants from illegally entering the United States will dash any hopes of establishing a larger population in the cat's historic northern range. "Without cohesive habitat spanning the border, there can be no gene flow and no dispersing cats," he says
Again, fence is bad. Again: with the violence on the other side of the border escalating, and human residents on the border becoming more and more vocal about finishing the fence, increased patrols, etc... the 'clock is ticking' so to speak. If they don't have proof of residency for Macho B, and soon, well, it may be too late.  Add to that, the knowledge that Macho B (the only recognized male thought to have some amount of permanence in Southern Arizona) is approaching 16 years old, the average life span of a wild jaguar, and the clock really begins to tick away...

***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

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