Monday, 20 January 2014
NEWSLINK: Return of the Jaguarundis: New Federal Plan Could Bring Small Endangered Cats Back to South Texas
For Immediate Release, January 10, 2014
Contact: Michael Robinson, (575) 313-7017
Return of the Jaguarundis: New Federal Plan Could Bring Small Endangered Cats Back to South Texas
SILVER CITY, N.M.— A new federal recovery plan for Gulf Coast jaguarundis — rare and enigmatic felines slightly larger than house cats — calls for reintroducing them to south Texas, provided none can be found to still live there and other conditions are met. Jaguarundis, which have long necks, short legs and elongated tails, have been protected as an endangered species since 1976. The closest known population is 130 miles south of the border, in Mexico.
“Returning jaguarundis to the thickets and grasslands of the Rio Grande Valley to hunt for rodents and reptiles could help protect these fascinating and little-studied animals from extinction,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. “We sure hope the Fish and Wildlife Service will move forward with getting these beautiful cats back into the United States.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recovery plan calls for ending Endangered Species Act protections for the Gulf Coast jaguarundis after there are 500 animals distributed among three populations with connectivity between them, which is important for genetic health.