Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finalizes Revisions to Jaguar Critical Habitat in Arizona
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PHOENIX, Ariz. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is publishing a final rule removing 64,797 acres of the jaguar critical habitat designation in compliance with a court ruling vacating portions of the designation. The remaining critical habitat acreage is approximately 640,124 acres in Pima, Santa Cruz, and Cochise counties. The final rule is in response to a lawsuit challenging the 2014 designation and the revision took effect immediately when filed by the Arizona District Court on Aug. 11, 2023. 

More than 99% of the jaguar’s range is found in Central and South America, and the few male jaguars in the U.S. are believed to have dispersed from core populations in Mexico. Jaguar breeding in the U.S. has not been documented in more than 100 years. The primary threats to the jaguar across its range are habitat loss and fragmentation; killing for trophies and illegal trade in body parts; pro-active or retaliatory killing associated with livestock depredations; and competition for wild meat with human hunters. 

The Service will continue working with state and local partners, conservation groups and the Mexican government to support jaguar recovery. There are no plans for jaguar reintroductions in the U.S., but this bi-national team remains focused on sustaining potential habitat.

The final rule will publish in the Federal Register on May 30, 2024. More information on the final rule is available at by searching docket number FWS-R2-ES-2023-0215.

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At-risk species