Cool New Article about Northern Jaguars

Jaguar by D. Alexander Carrillo Mtz. CC BY 2.0

Here’s a new article about northern jaguars by Kendal Blust, writing for Fronteras Desk.

For those who aren’t aware, the northernmost known breeding population of jaguars (Panthera onca) lives in the Mexican state of Sonora. When jaguars first started reappearing in the U.S. after being extirpated (locally extinct) by white settlers, most experts thought that they were coming from Sonora.

Unfortunately, the Sonoran jaguar population was under extreme pressure; conflicts with ranchers in northwestern Mexico’s arid scrublands were threatening to snuff out the U.S.’s best hope for jaguar recovery.

To protect Sonora’s jaguars and keep the door open for the species’s eventual return to the U.S., a binational team of conservationists working through the Northern Jaguar Project (NJP) established the Northern Jaguar Reserve.

Blust’s article largely focuses on the work being done in and around the Northern Jaguar Reserve. She talks about how conservationists like Miguel Gómez are helping ranchers to see the value of wildlife conservation, and to build tolerance for jaguars.

However, it’s not just ranchers who have a stake in jaguar conservation. The NJP and other groups are also doing all they can to generate support for jaguar conservation in northern Mexico’s towns, especially among local school children.

While these efforts in Mexico are crucial, American politics are threatening to shut jaguars out of the U.S. for the foreseeable future.

If Donald Trump gets to build his xenophobic border wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border, then it will be impossible for jaguars – and many other species – to cross the international boundary.

Blust doesn’t forget about this vital point: Part 2 of her story discusses the corridors that jaguars need to enter the U.S., and how the wall would impact them.

Critiques

While Blust’s article contains great information, I have a couple of complaints about it.

First, in the last sentence under “The Sinaloa Corridor” subheading, she calls Trump’s wall a “fence.” That’s an awfully benign way to describe a 30+ ft-tall barrier of solid concrete.

Make no mistake, the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall would be a wall; similar to, but larger than, the Berlin Wall. Calling it a “fence” makes it seem relatively harmless, even though the wall might impact up to 10,000 species.

My second critique is that the article in Fronteras Desk contains several grammatical errors, such as the repeated, incorrect use of there/their/they’re.

I was shocked to see such basic errors in a piece of professional journalism. While the there/their/they’re mistakes don’t negate the value of Blust’s story, they make the piece less pleasurable to read.

Closing Thoughts

Despite the questionable border wall phrasing and grammar mistakes, Kendal Blust’s article about northern jaguars is definitely worth your time. In addition, the whole story is narrated in optional audio recordings, so you can listen to it too.

7 Thoughts

  1. First of all Hello, and how have you been ? it’s been ages to say the least

    You know when they talk about the “wall” it always seems like it is not such a big and intimidating thing but from the looks of it, it’s actually something that would bring nothing but a lot of devastation and yet Trump seems so focused and set on building that wall that nothing else matters. How sad is that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Naila! How’ve you been? I’ve been quite busy lately.

      The wall would be very devastating from an ecological point of view. For one thing, lots of habitat would be destroyed/degraded in the construction process. The wall would also have a network of roads behind it so that border patrol agents could police the area, leading to further habitat degradation. The wall itself would also cut off vital travel corridors for animals like jaguars, making it almost impossible to move between Mexico and the U.S. Since this is a dry area, being unable to move across the border might make it even harder for animals to find water during droughts.

      There would be many other ecological impacts from the wall too, some of which are described here:

      https://therevelator.org/trump-border-wall-10000-species/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey 😊
        I’ve been okay I guess.

        My word, what the heck is wrong with that fool, and what in the world goes on in his brain.
        He can’t just throw caution to the wind and wing it because he must have his way, I mean endangering all those animals because he has a dislike for the Mexicans. That’s very sad.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. All along I thought that as a people we had been making great progress in becoming more accepting and tolerant to others but apparently there’s a vast majority set on their backward ways of life… and discrimination.
            So much for the free world…
            I really hope he doesn’t win the next election though.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I’d say that we have been making progress, and all the nonsense that’s currently taking place is a result of a small but powerful minority that’s feeling threatened by the aforementioned progress. I hope he doesn’t win the next election either, but even if he does things will get better in the end. They always do.

            Liked by 1 person

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