Environmentalists Claim Trump's Wall Would Harm Non-Existent Jaguars

Brittany M. Hughes | April 10, 2017
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Environmental groups are now voicing opposition to President Trump’s proposed border wall because they say it could interfere with jaguar migration between Mexico and the United States.

On an entirely unrelated note, please raise your hand if you live in Arizona and have ever seen a jaguar. No? ‘Kay.

In a move that smacks of its anti-oil efforts to “save” the lesser prairie chicken, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service actually proposed the creation of a critical habitat zone for jaguars across parts of Arizona and New Mexico back in 2012. But, seeing as jaguars aren’t known to inhabit the area, the Arizona Game and Fish Department pushed back, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch.

“[The] habitat essential to the conservation of the jaguar as a species does not exist in either Arizona or New Mexico under any scientifically credible definition of that term,” Arizona argued in their response.

“Occurrence records for recent history (i.e. post 1850s) fail to show that AZ or NM has never been occupied by a jaguar ‘population,’” the department added.

And it’s true. Even according to the same enviro groups looking to stall Trump’s border wall over cat migration, only seven jaguars – all males – have been seen in Arizona and New Mexico since 1996. Only two are currently known to be roaming free in Arizona.

Jaguars are also a fairly rare sight in Mexico, although an unknown number now live in a wildlife reserve in Sonora. The Center for Biological Diversity (also on the anti-border wall train) admits that by their best estimation, the last female jaguar in the U.S. died in 1963.

Of course, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in typical fashion, ignored the fact that you need actual jaguars to constitute a jaguar habitat and created one anyway in 2014. Now, environmental opponents of the border wall say Trump is blocking any chance that jaguars will show up at their new, currently unoccupied digs.

Rob Peters with Defenders of Wildlife complains, “If Trump’s administration completes the border wall, no more jaguars will be able to reach the U.S. from Mexico.”

Over at the Daily Beast, Gail Lemrick lamented that the border wall, which helps protect against things like drug smuggling, human trafficking and overwhelming illegal immigration, would prevent these virtually non-existent jaguars from wandering back into the United States. Here’s her take:

Jaguars in northern Mexico need to be protected so that the jaguar population can re-enter Arizona and be re-established in the U.S. And travel corridors need to be protected so that El Jefe, and future jaguars, can move, reproduce, and flourish again.

“Trump’s wall not only hurts people and economies but also wildlife and our last remaining wild jaguars,” she added.

So there you have it, folks. Clearly, we should abandon all efforts to secure our border, prevent illegal alien crime, dissuade dangerous human smuggling and crack down on the influx of deadly drugs on the off chance that a jaguar might decide to meander across the Rio Grande.