On Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court against Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar for failing to develop a recovery plan for two sub-species of jaguarundi. The two sub-species at issue are the Gulf Coast jaguarundi and the Sinaloan Jaguarundi.
Both are small, slender cats with tails that can range up to two feet long. These cats are often referred to as Otter-cats because their small ears and short legs give them an otter-like appearance. These cats are extraordinarily vocal, and have been recorded as having at least thirteen separate calls, including; a whistle, a purr, a scream, a chatter, a yap, and a bird-like chirp.
They are small for wild felids, only slightly larger than your average alley cat, making them hard to track in sightings and identify in road-kill situations. Their favored habitat are dense brush thickets, such as those found in the Rio Grande valley, as they provide excellent cover for hunting and safety from humans and dogs, these species primary threats to survival. As such, determining the number of survivors for either of these subspecies is terribly difficult for conservation scientists.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Image (Public Domain)
WildEarth Guardians lawsuit charges that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior have unreasonably delayed the development of a recovery plan for these two sub-species, which were originally listed as endangered in 1976. (To give you a more visceral idea of how long these species have been waiting for recovery, George Lucas released the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope, the following year.)
The lawsuit is asking the court order the Secretary, and therefore the Fish and Wildlife Service, to prepare and implement a recovery plan for these two sub-species of jaguarundi, within a reasonable date certain.
Congress created the Endangered Species Act for the express purpose of conserving threatened and endangered species and the ecosystems they depend upon. 1 . In the process of creating the Act, Congress defined “conservation” to mean bringing species back from the brink of or the threat of extinction to the point that they no longer need the protections provided by the Act. 2. One of the methods the Act requires the Secretary and the Fish and Wildlife Service to utilize in accomplishing this conservation goal is the development and implementation of recovery plans. 3.
WildEarth Guardians has issued a press release on their website, along with a copy of the complaint, here.
Author: Misty Ewegen, Attorney at Law
1 . 16 U.S.C. § 1531(b)
2. 16 U.S.C.§ 1532(3).
3. 16 U.S.C. § 1533(f
This post contains the personal views of the Author. Please read the DISCLAIMER about the nature of this blog and the information contained therein.
This entry was posted on Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:16 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
You must be logged in to post a comment.