USA Today: “The Wall” Podcast

October 9, 2017

At the Northern Jaguar Reserve: “We saw the core habitat of this population that now and then makes its way into Arizona. I’ve been in some remote places before, but it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere. The sky is not much different from Arizona; it is a little bit wetter. It is clear skies at night, millions of stars. We did not happen to hear a jaguar from camp, but they have heard it before. They’ll talk about how you can be up on one of these mountains and look across six or eight other peaks that have no one on them. Basically as far as you can see, you are looking at mountains that are uninhabited by anything but deer and jaguars….

“People don’t realize that jaguars belong in the Southwest. A lot of people are surprised, even Arizonans are surprised, to hear that they ever lived here. Certainly a lot of Americans are surprised to learn that there are jaguars anywhere in the United States. Regardless of how you feel about the Endangered Species Act or what’s more important, national security or biological diversity, I think it is important to be aware that there are trade offs. You can choose whichever you like. But in this particular case, a continuous wall that blocks humans is also going to block jaguars and that would mean that there will not be jaguars in the United States.”

Words by Brandon Loomis, excerpted from USA Today’s “The Wall” podcast. Listen to the entire episode here >>.

Northern Jaguar Reserve photo by Mikal Jakubal