Jaguar’s critical habitat shrinks in face of proposed copper mine

By Michael Doyle | 05/30/2024 01:19 PM EDT

Critical habitat for jaguars in Arizona has been contentious since it was first designated in 2014.

A wild jaguar on Dec. 1, 2016, in southern Arizona.

This image taken from video provided by Fort Huachuca shows a wild jaguar on Dec. 1, 2016, in southern Arizona. Fort Huachuca/AP

This story was updated at 2:43 p.m. EDT.

The Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday formally shrunk the designated critical habitat for the endangered jaguar, in a move touched by debate over Arizona’s proposed Rosemont copper mine project.

Compelled by court order, the federal agency made official its removal of approximately 64,797 acres from the jaguar’s critical habitat set under the Endangered Species Act. The cut leaves a critical habitat of 640,124 acres in Pima, Santa Cruz and Cochise counties in Arizona.


The critical habitat reduction published in the Federal Register follows up on a August 2013 court order that has been in effect while the Fish and Wildlife Service has prepared the official documentation.