The Northern Jaguar Project suﬀered a tremendous loss in 2013 with the passing of Peter Warshall, a founding board member and our science coordinator. Peter’s wide range of biological knowledge combined with his down-to-earth practicality and incisive negotiating skills made him a crucial member of the NJP team. His dedication and eloquence speaking on behalf of the jaguar was an inspiration.
Peter spent his childhood in Brooklyn and graduated from Harvard with a Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology. His educational experiences varied from living with baboons in Kenya to years spent in Paris, where he received a Fulbright to study with Claude Lévi-Strauss at the Sorbonne.
As a young man Peter moved to California, where he guided bird tours, was science editor for the Whole Earth Catalog, and served as an elected oﬃcial in the town of Bolinas, where he implemented the ﬁrst total recycling sewage system with settling ponds that still attract bird watchers from afar.
After moving to Arizona in 1980, Peter worked at the University of Arizona’s Oﬃce of Arid Land Studies, traveling to a dozen nations throughout the Sahel to conduct ecological research projects. He worked for the UN High Commission on Refugees, attempting to improve conditions and resolve ecological impact problems.
After his co-discovery of Arizona’s endangered Mt. Graham red squirrel, Peter worked for years with the Apache Survival Coalition to prevent the destruction of the mountain’s ecosystems. He taught eco-poetics at Naropa University, always giving classes outdoors, and designed the savannah ecosystem for Biosphere 2. Peter was working on a book on the evolution of color on the planet when he died.
Excerpt from the documentary ﬁlm “The 11th Hour”
Peter’s experience as a naturalist and natural systems analyst gave him a broad view of ecological interrelationships in northern Mexico. He had a keen understanding of the research required to protect the northernmost population of jaguars, insight into the restoration programs needed to improve wildlife habitat, and compassion for both the human and non-human residents of the region.
From the ﬁrst time Peter visited the area that became the Northern Jaguar Reserve, he was awed by its wild beauty. He committed a decade of inventive, thoughtful work to protect the reserve and all of its residents. The PWTurtle Fund supports the expansion of the reserve, and we welcome donations to continue Peter’s legacy.