Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, September 24, 2019


Michael Robinson, (575) 313-7017,

Federal Court to Decide If Endangered Jaguars Get 59,114 Acres of Protected New Mexico Habitat

DENVER— The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Wednesday, Sept. 25 in a livestock industry challenge to the protection of 59,114 acres of critical habitat for endangered jaguars in New Mexico.

The livestock industry has appealed a decision by the federal court in New Mexico, which upheld the critical habitat designation. The Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife intervened to defend the big native cat’s habitat, and a Center attorney will represent both groups in tomorrow’s hearing.

“Jaguars have prowled the Southwest’s rugged mountains and desert rivers for thousands of years, but they won’t flourish again without safeguards,” said Michael Robinson, a senior conservation advocate at the Center. “We need the court to protect jaguar habitat to help these magnificent cats survive here once more.”

What: Hearing in New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau v. U.S. Department of Interior, a challenge to designation of jaguar critical habitat in New Mexico

Where: Byron White U.S. Courthouse, 1823 Stout St., Denver, Colo., 80202

When: 9 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019

Media Availability: Center for Biological Diversity staff will be available to answer questions about this case after conclusion of the oral arguments.

Jaguars in the United States were placed on the endangered species list in 1997. Their habitat, primarily in Arizona, was designated as critical and protected in 2014. Both were results of legal action by the Center.

In 2015 livestock-industry plaintiffs sued to rescind the small portion of that critical habitat located in New Mexico. In 2017 a federal district court in New Mexico ruled for the government and dismissed the case.

Jaguars once roamed large swaths of the United States before they were eliminated by deforestation, wetland draining and direct killing to protect livestock and obtain pelts. Under federal protection jaguars have begun coming back from Mexico and have been photographed within the critical habitat areas under review.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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