Feds to make decision on jaguar recovery

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January 11, 2010 6:07:30 AM PST
Federal officials are close to issuing a decision on whether to develop a recovery plan and set aside critical habitat for the elusive endangered jaguar.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is bound by a court order to issue a decision in the jaguar case on Friday.

Conservationists see the decision as a test case of whether the Obama administration will take extra steps to protect animals whose ranges stretch beyond the nation's borders.

Jaguars once inhabited an extensive area that spanned New Mexico, Arizona, California and Texas. They were thought to have been eliminated in the U.S. until two were spotted in 1996, only roaming in Mexico, Central and South America.

Most recently, a snare captured a jaguar southwest of Tucson, Ariz., The cat nicknamed Macho B soon died.


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