For Immediate Release, March 4, 2009
Michael Robinson, (575) 313-7017
Randy Serraglio, (520) 784-1504
Memorial Event for Macho B, 1993(?) – 2009:
Iconic Jaguar of Southern Arizona to Be Remembered and Honored
TUCSON, Ariz.— A memorial service for the jaguar Macho B, and a plea for better protection for his fellow jaguars, will be held from noon to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, outside the offices of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 201 N. Bonita Ave., Suite 141, in Tucson.
“Macho B epitomized the majestic but fragile nature of our southwestern ecosystems. By speaking out for Macho after he is gone, we fervently hope that our mountains and deserts can still be home to his kin for decades and centuries into the future,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity.
The event will allow people to share their thoughts and feelings about the much-photographed Macho B, along with their wishes for a new presidential administration to right the many wrongs committed against American jaguars before it is too late.
The Fish and Wildlife Service issued a permit to the Arizona Game and Fish Department to capture a jaguar for research, but under the Bush administration refused to develop a jaguar recovery plan – thus ensuring the risk to jaguars was not compensated by any intention to increase their desperately low numbers.
The Fish and Wildlife Service also refused to map out critical habitat for jaguars. Both measures are required under the Endangered Species Act and are the subject of a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, which will be heard in federal court in Tucson on March 23.
“Secretary Salazar has an opportunity to correct past wrongs done to Macho B and other jaguars by the Bush administration,” said Robinson. “A recovery plan and designation of critical habitat will ensure that science is at the center of efforts to conserve the jaguar in the United States.”
The public is invited to bring written expressions of support for protection of critical habitat for jaguars and for development of a long-delayed jaguar recovery plan. These, along with other pleas for the defense of jaguars and the conservation of their wild homelands in the Southwest, can be addressed to the new Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. The public prayers and petitions will be handed to local Fish and Wildlife Service officials at the conclusion of the services. Participants are also encouraged to bring signs to express their regret over the loss of Macho B.