Just minutes ago the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formally proposed to protect 838,232 acres as "critical habitat" for endangered jaguars in southern Arizona and New Mexico -- an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.
When finalized in the next year, and joined with a developing federal recovery plan, the decision will ensure jaguars return to the wild mountains and deserts of the American Southwest.
The decision has been a long time coming. The agency listed the jaguar as an endangered species in 1997 following a lawsuit