The Border Chronicle
The Border Chronicle
Jaguars and Resilience in the Borderlands: A Podcast with Russ McSpadden

Jaguars and Resilience in the Borderlands: A Podcast with Russ McSpadden

The recent sighting of a new Jaguar in southern Arizona bodes well for the borderlands, says McSpadden of the Center for Biological Diversity.

No transcript...

A brief note: Join us this Thursday February 29 at noon Pacific, 1 p.m. Mountain, 2 p.m. Central, 3 p.m. Eastern for a discussion thread about the U.S. election and what that means for the border and the borderlands. Since 2024 began, things have already been heating up, so there is much to discuss, but what else can we expect, both rhetorically and on the ground, as we move toward November? Todd and I want to hear your thoughts, ideas, and predictions, and even what you might like to happen. We hope this will be a vibrant and respectful discussion as we contemplate many ideas and analyze the trends. The discussion will be text based, so all you have to do is click the link we’ll send you in your inbox on February 29 and type away. If you’re new to discussion threads, it’s a written forum in real time. People can engage with the subject matter, post questions, and make comments. We hope to see you on Thursday!

A jaguar captured in a Sky Island Alliance wildlife camera in southern Arizona.

In January, the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity confirmed an exciting discovery near the Arizona-Mexico border: the first sighting of a jaguar never previously identified in Arizona. Russ McSpadden, a Southwest conservation advocate at the center, has been tracking the jaguar population in the borderlands for several years.

The rare and elusive creatures once lived throughout the American Southwest. But they’ve nearly disappeared over the past 150 years due to habitat loss and government programs to protect the livestock industry.


For decades, the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity has worked to protect jaguars, successfully lobbying for them to be listed in 1997 as an endangered species. And in December 2022 the center petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service to reintroduce jaguars to New Mexico and designate more critical habitat in New Mexico and Arizona.

In this Border Chronicle podcast, McSpadden discusses this exciting new discovery and the work that the center and others are doing to bring back the endangered jaguar population in the United States.

Russ McSpadden in January 2023 at the Arizona-Mexico border preparing to document with a drone the environmental damage caused by a shipping container wall built by former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. (Photo: Melissa del Bosque)

Get involved: Organizations protecting jaguars and their habitat include the Center for Biological Diversity, Northern Jaguar Project, Sky Island Alliance, and Conservation CATalyst. Also read this piece on cultural considerations and the current debate over naming this newly identified jaguar.

Support independent journalism from the borderlands by becoming a paid subscriber today for just $6 a month or $60 a year.

The Border Chronicle
The Border Chronicle
The Border Chronicle podcast is hosted by Melissa del Bosque and Todd Miller. Based in Tucson, Arizona, longtime journalists Melissa and Todd speak with fascinating fronterizos, community leaders, activists, artists and more at the U.S.-Mexico border.