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s://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2021/05/18/new-study-makes-case-for-jaguar-reintroduction-in-arizona-new-mexico/#:~:text=Conservation%20biologists%20are%20making%20the%20case%20for%20jaguar,males%20have%20been%20documented%20in%20the%20United%20States.

ps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/return-great-american-jaguar-180960443/
I'm not blindly a fan of returning species to historical habitat. It is interesting. IMHO we need to be more careful about making things go extinct or driving them out of historical habitat but once they are gone, we need to look equally carefully at the potential side effects of restoring them to those places. By our very existence, humans change the environment. We are part of the ever-moving "balance" and will remain so 'til we go extinct in our own time. Trying to pretend that we have no effect .. and that our effects can be ignored, don't in turn require adjustments to other things, is naive. Everything in nature has ripple effects .. including us. Trying to manage as if we were not here and do not have to be considered as a factor is naive.

How that applies to jaguars .. I dunno, it's just a philosophical perspective. Maybe they should be brought back, maybe not. Depends on what their impact on that ecosystem would be as it exists today. Depends on how other changes to that ecosystem since they were "removed" might impact them as well.
 

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I'm not blindly a fan of returning species to historical habitat. It is interesting. IMHO we need to be more careful about making things go extinct or driving them out of historical habitat but once they are gone, we need to look equally carefully at the potential side effects of restoring them to those places. By our very existence, humans change the environment. We are part of the ever-moving "balance" and will remain so 'til we go extinct in our own time. Trying to pretend that we have no effect .. and that our effects can be ignored, don't in turn require adjustments to other things, is naive. Everything in nature has ripple effects .. including us. Trying to manage as if we were not here and do not have to be considered as a factor is naive.

How that applies to jaguars .. I dunno, it's just a philosophical perspective. Maybe they should be brought back, maybe not. Depends on what their impact on that ecosystem would be as it exists today. Depends on how other changes to that ecosystem since they were "removed" might impact them as well.
Great post SquarePeg. In this aspect I don’t think they were really “removed” though. They still cross back and forth along the board with Mexico and I don’t believe anybody has been killing them. I just don’t believe it’s suitable habitat for them and hasn’t been for a very long time. We’re talking about a jungle cat. That’s the only reason that I’m not sure it’s worth spending a ton of money to try to make them stay here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Translation of "jaguar" into Navajo
Shádiʼááhdę́ę́ʼ náshdóítsoh łikizhígíí, shádiʼááhdę́ę́ʼ náshdóítsoh łikizhígíí are the top translations of "jaguar" into Navajo.

The Navaho name means” mountain lion with big spots”
I also checked the Tohono O’odhan tribe and they had a name for mountain lion and a totally different name for Jaguar,
Also checked the Hopi tribe and they had a name for jaguar
In the Tupi languge it meant “ he who kills with one leap”
They were hardly ever there? Why does it make you warm and fuzzy in side? It’s a serious question. I mean no harm by it. I just don’t understand. They travel north from time to time. But it was never there territory. I love cats and I am being honest about that. I’m one of the few that truthfully appreciates them and will hike miles just to see them behind my dogs, truth be told. Why should taxes payers fork out a ton of money to transport them into a area that they never really called there home land? Don’t get me wrong it would be a treat to see them. I just don’t understand why we would invest a bunch of money to artificially push something into the ecosystem?

In 2015 Zimbabwe's tourist industry suffered a huge and so far still irreversible loss.

“Cecil” the then famous 13 year old Back Maned lion was killed. Cecil had been an object of study since 2009 by the University of Oxford. He was the most photographed lion in the world.

Cecil had the “Star Power” to bring the fans in, from all over the world.

Cecil’s weekly value to the local economy was estimated to be around $55,000 US dollars. The direct loss from his premature death was figured to be $1,000,000 and the indirect costs are way beyond that.

The hunter who killed Cecil paid around $50,000.

Zimbabwe has been shunned by the very lucrative Eco-tourism industry.

Reading the pro-hunting versions of Cecil’s story, the spin is,,,it was a perfectly legal hunt done on private property adjoining the National Park. Baiting and shooting at night with spotlights lights are legal.

A small dead elephant was dragged in as bait, Cecil was wearing highly visible tracking collar, ( later found in a dumpster) and he was wounded by an archer between 9pm and 11pm. He was not put out of his misery for 11 or 12 hours.

The Eco-tourists have taken their business elsewhere.

A friend of mine went on a photo safari in South Africa.

A theme that is happening over and over in Africa is having cattle ranchers and hunting outfitters switch to Eco-tourism. The profit is far better and there is no closed season.

So many more people are employed too.

Handled properly, restoring the Jaguar to a small part of it’s original home range, which went from the Tehachapi Mountains in central California, to tropical east Texas and maybe even Louisiana, would be a gold mine for parts of poverty stricken New Mexico. Arizona too.
Tourists would not have to physically see them either, There would be tracking classes, local museums with video presentations, shops selling Jaguar books and T shirts.

Some local biology students who became inspired would do field projects and get college scholarships.

Far too many hunters cannot see beyond their scopes crosshairs. To them Jaguars would just be something to hunt because they eat “their deer and elk”.

There is much bigger picture and from the studies done, enough room in the Gila for a hundred or more Jaguars.
 

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We need to reintroduce Jaguars so they can be monetized?

What type of damage would be done to the Gila ecosystem by turning it into a money making profit center?

You would be the last person I would have thought would be behind monetizing wildlife, and advocating the commercialization of our wild places.

This seems like a sales pitch for an idea that there is zero intent to happen.
 

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There is much bigger picture and from the studies done, enough room in the Gila for a hundred or more Jaguars.
The question is not "room", the question is whether it is suitable habitat to support a population. That means not just stragglers coming through and possibly stopping over, but thriving there. It means the presence of whatever a population of jaguars needs in the way of food, cover/concealment including appropriate plant communities, water, and "privacy". Regardless of other potential uses for the space .. are the appropriate conditions present? If the location is not connected to another truly suitable patch of habitat, is it large enough to support a biologically viable population rather than one that will degrade from inbreeding .. naturally, without human intervention?
 

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Who would be in charge of creating this booming new eco tourism economy?

Have they successfully done this in areas where wolf and grizzly bear populations have been re established?(excluding famous national parks that were already huge tourist destinations)

Very interesting concept. Definitely some outside The box thinking!
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
The question is not "room", the question is whether it is suitable habitat to support a population. That means not just stragglers coming through and possibly stopping over, but thriving there. It means the presence of whatever a population of jaguars needs in the way of food, cover/concealment including appropriate plant communities, water, and "privacy". Regardless of other potential uses for the space .. are the appropriate conditions present? If the location is not connected to another truly suitable patch of habitat, is it large enough to support a biologically viable population rather than one that will degrade from inbreeding .. naturally, without human intervention?
I hope this opens.
://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/oryx/article/systematic-review-of-potential-habitat-suitability-for-the-jaguar-panthera-onca-in-central-arizona-and-new-mexico-usa/9CCF8FB0975725AC100EBE20CBB08DB2
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
The question is not "room", the question is whether it is suitable habitat to support a population. That means not just stragglers coming through and possibly stopping over, but thriving there. It means the presence of whatever a population of jaguars needs in the way of food, cover/concealment including appropriate plant communities, water, and "privacy". Regardless of other potential uses for the space .. are the appropriate conditions present? If the location is not connected to another truly suitable patch of habitat, is it large enough to support a biologically viable population rather than one that will degrade from inbreeding .. naturally, without human intervention?
I am having trouble with my server I guess. I live quire remote.

Anyway look at the basic information titles in the link I just sent above and you will find a very detailed study about restoring Jaguars in the Gila.

Reading it will take an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Who would be in charge of creating this booming new eco tourism economy?

Have they successfully done this in areas where wolf and grizzly bear populations have been re established?(excluding famous national parks that were already huge tourist destinations)

Very interesting concept. Definitely some outside The box thinking!
Hello Michael,

I am going to be down for a few days after some big toe surgery. The only prancing around outside I am doing is tending my future elk hunting mustang mare named Rose.

So I have plenty of time to write.

Economy and ecology have the same latin/greek word origin both meaning to keep ones house in order, They are forever linked. More later about how eco tourism is handled world wide. I have done such things in Wyoming, The Tonkanese Alps on the Vietnam/China border ( still Tiger country) , Cambodia, The Julian alps in Slovenia where they saved the native wolf, European lynx and Ursus Arctos ( our grizzly),

Also done trip after trip into Mexican backcountry, jungles and deserts, as well as three trips into the Andes and Amazon jungle of Peru and and Chile.

I went up the Tomboplato river twice in these hand make boats from native lumber into Jaguar country,

Hope the next link opens

I will answer questions as fully as possible.

 

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Hello Michael,

I am going to be down for a few days after some big toe surgery. The only prancing around outside I am doing is tending my future elk hunting mustang mare named Rose.

So I have plenty of time to write.

Economy and ecology have the same latin/greek word origin both meaning to keep ones house in order, They are forever linked. More later about how eco tourism is handled world wide. I have done such things in Wyoming, The Tonkanese Alps on the Vietnam/China border ( still Tiger country) , Cambodia, The Julian alps in Slovenia where they saved the native wolf, European lynx and Ursus Arctos ( our grizzly),

Also done trip after trip into Mexican backcountry, jungles and deserts, as well as three trips into the Andes and Amazon jungle of Peru and and Chile.

I went up the Tomboplato river twice in these hand make boats from native lumber into Jaguar country,

Hope the next link opens

I will answer questions as fully as possible.

No worries

I know what eco-tourism is and am aware of it around the world.

My questions were specific on how it would work with jaguars introduced to the Gila, economics was your argument for introduction. I was also wondering if any other booming ecotourism economies were created in America due to the increased populations of wolves/grizzly bears. These would be areas excluding popular national parks like Yellowstone, and Glacier national parks that were already extremely popular before the increase of predators(wolves/grizzly bears).

Hope your toe heals up, and I'm looking foreword to a recap of your elk hunt this fall!
 

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The Gila is where they have been trying to restore the Mexican wolf, and it has not been met with much success. The wolves don't seem to be satisfied with deer and elk, so they stray and get into trouble with the sheep and cows. That's fatal. Zero reason to think that jaguars would be any different. A 100??? New Mexico was never been primary habitat for jaguars, yes there were some there, but if you read the link provided by the NM G&F documented sightings are RARE over the last couple of hundred years. I would be surprised if the locals would be supportive of this pipe dream either, they haven't been exactly helpful with the wolf reintroduction (Mexican wolves do resemble coyotes after all). Pretty sure the outfitters and guides would be opposed to it (elk hunting is BIG business in NM, with political pull), and jaguars have been known to munch on humans, so the hikers might not be all that wild about it. Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone. NM has all the introduced species it needs, due to a rather colorful former governor (Bullock). Oryx, 2 kinds of ibex, and Barbary sheep. If the jaguars spread NATURALLY into the area, so be it. An argument for ecotourism/education is pretty weak, if they are anything like cougars, it would be very difficult to even see one. I've spent 50 years hunting in cougar rich areas in NM and ID, my grand total cougar sightings is one...
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
No worries

I know what eco-tourism is and am aware of it around the world.

My questions were specific on how it would work with jaguars introduced to the Gila, economics was your argument for introduction. I was also wondering if any other booming ecotourism economies were created in America due to the increased populations of wolves/grizzly bears. These would be areas excluding popular national parks like Yellowstone, and Glacier national parks that were already extremely popular before the increase of predators(wolves/grizzly bears).

Hope your toe heals up, and I'm looking foreword to a recap of your elk hunt this fall!
I want to thank all of you for such a great response to this post. Great last post from James in Idaho too.

I am past my high energy window and will pick this up in the morning.

For the record I was not placing Eco tourism as the singular reason for a jaguar restoration. Just one factor in a complicated equation.

More later.

Again thanks to all of you for your contributions
 

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In 2015 Zimbabwe's tourist industry suffered a huge and so far still irreversible loss.

“Cecil” the then famous 13 year old Back Maned lion was killed. Cecil had been an object of study since 2009 by the University of Oxford. He was the most photographed lion in the world.

Cecil had the “Star Power” to bring the fans in, from all over the world.

Cecil’s weekly value to the local economy was estimated to be around $55,000 US dollars. The direct loss from his premature death was figured to be $1,000,000 and the indirect costs are way beyond that.

The hunter who killed Cecil paid around $50,000.

Zimbabwe has been shunned by the very lucrative Eco-tourism industry.

Reading the pro-hunting versions of Cecil’s story, the spin is,,,it was a perfectly legal hunt done on private property adjoining the National Park. Baiting and shooting at night with spotlights lights are legal.

A small dead elephant was dragged in as bait, Cecil was wearing highly visible tracking collar, ( later found in a dumpster) and he was wounded by an archer between 9pm and 11pm. He was not put out of his misery for 11 or 12 hours.

The Eco-tourists have taken their business elsewhere.

A friend of mine went on a photo safari in South Africa.

A theme that is happening over and over in Africa is having cattle ranchers and hunting outfitters switch to Eco-tourism. The profit is far better and there is no closed season.

So many more people are employed too.

Handled properly, restoring the Jaguar to a small part of it’s original home range, which went from the Tehachapi Mountains in central California, to tropical east Texas and maybe even Louisiana, would be a gold mine for parts of poverty stricken New Mexico. Arizona too.
Tourists would not have to physically see them either, There would be tracking classes, local museums with video presentations, shops selling Jaguar books and T shirts.

Some local biology students who became inspired would do field projects and get college scholarships.

Far too many hunters cannot see beyond their scopes crosshairs. To them Jaguars would just be something to hunt because they eat “their deer and elk”.

There is much bigger picture and from the studies done, enough room in the Gila for a hundred or more Jaguars.
Wow!! Okay way to twist a narrative to try and push a agenda. I’m disappointed in you. For somebody that puts references/facts kinda. This one has none! I was in South Africa shortly after the Cecil debacle. It’s funny when your there because there news is British and American with some local for the most part. Nobody cared but the British and Americans. It made head line news on those channels along with a giraffe that was kill by a really pretty lady that I met at the airport. A cheerleader if I remember right? I don’t even know where to start with this post to tell you the truth. But I will try to correct you for the most part. Hunting lions and leopards is done over bait in Africa. Cats for the most part are nocturnal. You do the math! Hunters sit in blinds for hours on end hoping they will come in. It’s not my kind of hunting because I don’t have the patience for it, but I’m not going to judge somebody that has more patience then me. People sit in tree stands for whitetails for 12 hours a day.
As far as being shot and wounded for 12 hours before being finished off. Was that somebody at CCN making up a story to sell a narrative or somebody that was there?
Africa was never a cattle country like the US. Sheep actually won the range land war there. But that’s not really the story there, especially in South Africa. If you hunt in Africa, you can not take the meat home. So you pay to hunt game animals. You get to to eat it while your there, but you only get to take the cape and horns back. The meat is either sold or given to tribes. In more domestic parts of Africa it is then sold in the meat markets much like cattle is here. Doubling the Rancher/ Guides money. Depending on how they run there service. My guide had a meat market and a outfitter business for example. There big game model is much different then ours. For better or for worse. But for the most part your BS about cattle being traded off for eco-tourism is crap. They raise wildlife on any actual ranch land. To add to your hunting season and how “eco-tourism” doesn’t have a season! Either does most of Africa when it comes to hunting. There horned not antlered game. In most parts of Africa you can hunt year around. There’s nicer weather, some parts of the year. There’s better times to hunt. Take for example the rut. But for the most part you can hunt year around! These same places do “eco-tourism” when not hunting. Why would they not? They take in as much money as they can. But the profits are not far better and there is no closed hunting season.
Your jaguar home land is extremely stretched and your examples of how they are going to make so much money! On T-shirts, videos and tracking classes in which they will never track them. Is a stretch as well.
I do want to hit one last thing as well. You disgracing hunters by saying that “far to many hunters can’t see beyond there scope cross hairs” is BS. Not one single post on this, has mentioned anything about people being worried about them taking away from there opportunities. It was how they would fit being pushed into a ecosystem that they only randomly visit over the last couple hundred years!
As far as facts with your eco-tourist talk on Zimbabwe and how they lost all that money after Cecil died. One google search will prove that wrong. Here is where most tourists dollars come from in Zimbabwe according to nature based tourism.
 
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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Wow!! Okay way to twist a narrative to try and push a agenda. I’m disappointed in you. For somebody that puts references/facts kinda. This one has none! I was in South Africa shortly after the Cecil debacle. It’s funny when your there because there news is British and American with some local for the most part. Nobody cared but the British and Americans. It made head line news on those channels along with a giraffe that was kill by a really pretty lady that I met at the airport. A cheerleader if I remember right? I don’t even know where to start with this post to tell you the truth. But I will try to correct you for the most part. Hunting lions and leopards is done over bait in Africa. Cats for the most part are nocturnal. You do the math! Hunters sit in blinds for hours on end hoping they will come in. It’s not my kind of hunting because I don’t have the patience for it, but I’m not going to judge somebody that has more patience then me. People sit in tree stands for whitetails for 12 hours a day.
As far as being shot and wounded for 12 hours before being finished off. Was that somebody at CCN making up a story to sell a narrative or somebody that was there?
Africa was never a cattle country like the US. Sheep actually won the range land war there. But that’s not really the story there, especially in South Africa. If you hunt in Africa, you can not take the meat home. So you pay to hunt game animals. You get to to eat it while your there, but you only get to take the cape and horns back. The meat is either sold or given to tribes. In more domestic parts of Africa it is then sold in the meat markets much like cattle is here. Doubling the Rancher/ Guides money. Depending on how they run there service. My guide had a meat market and a outfitter
business for example. There big game model is much different then ours. For better or for worse. But for the most part

your BS about cattle being traded off for eco-tourism is crap. They raise wildlife on any actual ranch land. To add to your hunting season and how “eco-tourism” doesn’t have a season! Either does most of Africa when it comes to hunting. There horned not antlered game. In most parts of Africa you can hunt year around. There’s nicer weather,

some parts of the year. There’s better times to hunt. Take for example the rut. But for the most part you can hunt year around! These same places do “eco-tourism” when not hunting. Why would they not? They take in as much money as they can. But the profits are not far better and there is no closed hunting season.
Your jaguar home land is extremely stretched and your examples of how they are going to make so much money! On T-shirts, videos and tracking classes in which they will never track them. Is a stretch as well.
I do want to hit one last thing as well. You disgracing hunters by saying that “far to many hunters can’t see beyond there scope cross hairs” is BS. Not one single post on this, has mentioned anything about people being worried about them taking away from there opportunities. It was how they would fit being pushed into a ecosystem that they only randomly visit over the last couple hundred years!
As far as facts with your eco-tourist talk on Zimbabwe and how they lost all that money after Cecil died. One google search will prove that wrong. Here is where most tourists dollars come from in Zimbabwe according to nature based tourism.
Okay, first thank you for your detailed post.

As always I will look at what you have said.. Do you have any references, web site links that further support anything you wish to be understood better or be known.

Now next, can we all tone down the dialogue or else this post will just get shut down and opinions will not get heard

I will offer references about what happed to Cecil and also acknowledged that there were other ideas. What more could I do.

Here is the Wikepedia reference. I know full well the criticisims of Wikepedia. but it does offer references, in this case over 100 of them

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_Cecil_the_lion

again thank for your concerns on these issues
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Wow!! Okay way to twist a narrative to try and push a agenda. I’m disappointed in you. For somebody that puts references/facts kinda. This one has none! I was in South Africa shortly after the Cecil debacle. It’s funny when your there because there news is British and American with some local for the most part. Nobody cared but the British and Americans. It made head line news on those channels along with a giraffe that was kill by a really pretty lady that I met at the airport. A cheerleader if I remember right? I don’t even know where to start with this post to tell you the truth. But I will try to correct you for the most part. Hunting lions and leopards is done over bait in Africa. Cats for the most part are nocturnal. You do the math! Hunters sit in blinds for hours on end hoping they will come in. It’s not my kind of hunting because I don’t have the patience for it, but I’m not going to judge somebody that has more patience then me. People sit in tree stands for whitetails for 12 hours a day.
As far as being shot and wounded for 12 hours before being finished off. Was that somebody at CCN making up a story to sell a narrative or somebody that was there?
Africa was never a cattle country like the US. Sheep actually won the range land war there. But that’s not really the story there, especially in South Africa. If you hunt in Africa, you can not take the meat home. So you pay to hunt game animals. You get to to eat it while your there, but you only get to take the cape and horns back. The meat is either sold or given to tribes. In more domestic parts of Africa it is then sold in the meat markets much like cattle is here. Doubling the Rancher/ Guides money. Depending on how they run there service. My guide had a meat market and a outfitter business for example. There big game model is much different then ours. For better or for worse. But for the most part your BS about cattle being traded off for eco-tourism is crap. They raise wildlife on any actual ranch land. To add to your hunting season and how “eco-tourism” doesn’t have a season! Either does most of Africa when it comes to hunting. There horned not antlered game. In most parts of Africa you can hunt year around. There’s nicer weather, some parts of the year. There’s better times to hunt. Take for example the rut. But for the most part you can hunt year around! These same places do “eco-tourism” when not hunting. Why would they not? They take in as much money as they can. But the profits are not far better and there is no closed hunting season.
Your jaguar home land is extremely stretched and your examples of how they are going to make so much money! On T-shirts, videos and tracking classes in which they will never track them. Is a stretch as well.
I do want to hit one last thing as well. You disgracing hunters by saying that “far to many hunters can’t see beyond there scope cross hairs” is BS. Not one single post on this, has mentioned anything about people being worried about them taking away from there opportunities. It was how they would fit being pushed into a ecosystem that they only randomly visit over the last couple hundred years!
As far as facts with your eco-tourist talk on Zimbabwe and how they lost all that money after Cecil died. One google search will prove that wrong. Here is where most tourists dollars come from in Zimbabwe according to nature based tourism.
[URLunfurl="true"]https://naturebasedtourism.africa/w...an-NBT-Platform-Zimbabwe-Summary-Report-1.pdf[/URL]
To Elkoholic 247.

Some of your criticisms about what I saying in my Jaguar reintroduction post were right on.

I realized that while cleaning up horse poop, which always clears my head, especially so when the producer of the poop in right in the paddock with me.

Will Rogers said, the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man, true even under the circumstances just described.

I wish I could just let my mustang “Rose” roam my land and not be confined to a corral but she still has too much wildness in her. She would still get into trouble.

Wild critters can get into people-trouble so easy.

So for this winter, she poops and I use a manure fork and pick it up put it the wheelbarrow and spread it on my land. Then I spread fresh sawdust over her shed’s dirt floor.

As yet she has never said Thank You, even when I take a break and brush her down with a metal curry comb.

Somehow doing that "poop-duty" on the exterior does the same thing inside my head.

Yes, when I re-read what I had written it was disappointing to me too. My references were not sharp and my line of thought was not straight, kinda crooked actually. I got overly passionate about something I care deep about and lost practicality and focus.

Thank you for the “wake up call”

DB
 

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So, not to belabor the point, but I’ve spent considerable time in the Gila (and in areas around the Gila) and as fate would have it, will be backpacking through it this spring (very excited!) A friend and I were emailing about the crazy number of times the trail (CDT) crosses the Gila; it’s over 100. Wet feet! Anyway, I grabbed this pic off someone’s blog and it’s still on my phone so here it is. Just so folks get a taste of the place.

Water Sky Plant Plant community Natural landscape


Jungle cats? Far be it from me to say no, but while the Gila is a magical and sublime area, it never struck me as a place in yawning need of an even bigger feline apex predator than it already has.

Where I saw the cougar, circa 40 years ago, was around 80 miles from the Gila but I suspect it might as well be 800 as far as a big cat is concerned. In a sense, the mountainous areas in central/SW NM form habitat “islands”, with desert around them in the lower elevations, stretching to the next place a mountain rises up and catches a little water. By the time you get south to that part of NM, the Rockies have trailed out. Many miles of desert surround the remaining mountain outcrops. Think of Steens in Oregon. I would think a cougar on Steens is unlikely to trek across, say, the Alvord, to get to the next suitable habitat? Which is an extreme example, granted, but the desert areas in that part of NM are pretty bleak in terms of water, and grazing plants, and thus fauna. I spent my childhood chasing said fauna (basically, jackrabbits) in the desert arroyos not so far from the Gila, so I might have an idea of this. :)

I’m agnostic to the notion of reintroducing them, as a concept to be debated. But I’m deeply, deeply skeptical it would WORK. I just don’t think there’s enough “there”, there.

I’ll have boots on the ground there in a couple months. :) :) Maybe I’ll see so many tasty critters my mind will change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
So, not to belabor the point, but I’ve spent considerable time in the Gila (and in areas around the Gila) and as fate would have it, will be backpacking through it this spring (very excited!) A friend and I were emailing about the crazy number of times the trail (CDT) crosses the Gila; it’s over 100. Wet feet! Anyway, I grabbed this pic off someone’s blog and it’s still on my phone so here it is. Just so folks get a taste of the place.

View attachment 999893

Jungle cats? Far be it from me to say no, but while the Gila is a magical and sublime area, it never struck me as a place in yawning need of an even bigger feline apex predator than it already has.

Where I saw the cougar, circa 40 years ago, was around 80 miles from the Gila but I suspect it might as well be 800 as far as a big cat is concerned. In a sense, the mountainous areas in central/SW NM form habitat “islands”, with desert around them in the lower elevations, stretching to the next place a mountain rises up and catches a little water. By the time you get south to that part of NM, the Rockies have trailed out. Many miles of desert surround the remaining mountain outcrops. Think of Steens in Oregon. I would think a cougar on Steens is unlikely to trek across, say, the Alvord, to get to the next suitable habitat? Which is an extreme example, granted, but the desert areas in that part of NM are pretty bleak in terms of water, and grazing plants, and thus fauna. I spent my childhood chasing said fauna (basically, jackrabbits) in the desert arroyos not so far from the Gila, so I might have an idea of this. :)

I’m agnostic to the notion of reintroducing them, as a concept to be debated. But I’m deeply, deeply skeptical it would WORK. I just don’t think there’s enough “there”, there.

/www.amazon.com/Land-Clear-Light-Southwest-Northwestern/dp/0876902034/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1IGD7YHR3T7EB&keywords=the+land+of+clear+light&qid=1674481482&sprefix=%2Caps%2C165&sr=8-2

I’ll have boots on the ground there in a couple months. :) :) Maybe I’ll see so many tasty critters my mind will change.
 

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Who knew Jaguars could hold their breath underwater? Not directly pertinent to the conversation, but odds of capturing a Jaguar that is hunting Caiman on video must be one in a trillion at best.

 
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