Government moves to protect jaguars from extinction

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The Obama administration on Tuesday said it would designate 764,207 acres as critical habitat in an effort to protect jaguars from extinction.

The new rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designed to provide further protections to an animal already listed as an endangered species.

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The designated acres would be in Pima, Santa Cruz; Cochise Counties in Arizona; and Hidalgo County in New Mexico.

“The critical habitat areas we are designating in this rule constitute our current best assessment of the areas that meet the definition of critical habitat for the jaguar,” the agency writes in the Federal Register.

The agency designates critical habitats for any species that is endangered or threatened. The rule will go into effect in 30 days. 

The average lifespan of a jaguar is 10 years, the agency noted.

The agency estimates the rule will have an economic impact of $4.2 to $5.6 million over the next 20 years.

“In order to consider economic impacts, we have prepared an analysis of the economic impacts of the critical habitat designation and related factors,” the agency wrote. “We have also completed an environmental assessment to evaluate whether there would be any significant environmental impacts as a result of the critical habitat designation.”

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