Whistling for the Jaguar

The un-redacted story of the jaguar, Macho B's snaring and death.

Agency Notification

After the photos of Macho B were retrieved from the BJDP cameras, McCain moved back to the Patagonia snare sets and collared another lion for the AZGFD snaring project. Besides BJDP personnel being aware of Macho B’s return to BJDP camera sites in the study area McCain informed Thompson whom he considered his boss on the AZGFD snaring project.

In an email string from November 10, Thompson emails McCain; “Great news of Macho B. I would like to remphasize the need to watch the trapping situation and to know if there is a possibility of snaring him soon.” McCain emails back in part; “The photo was from Aug. 3. He could be anywhere by now…”

On 11-12-08 McCain emails Thompson: ” Can you please call me at your soonest convenience. We need to talk about how to handle reporting this new sighting (Macho B) where I am trapping and hope to be able to continue to do so without appearing to be hiding anything. I need to inform (redacted) and USFWS soon…”

On the same day, McCain officially notifies personnel in AZGFD and USFWS, per BJDP’s endangered species permit, the mountain range name and the UTM coordinates of Macho B’s photo from 8-3-08. Personnel from AZGFD were Terry Johnson, Bill van Pelt, Tim Snow, Gabe Paz, and Kurt Bahti. USFWS personnel were Sherry Barrett, Erin Fernandez, and Susan Sferra. Although Kirby Bristow and Thorry Smith were not included in the email notification they, too, became aware of this photo through McCain. Also of note, is that most of these people were aware that McCain was working on the snaring project and knew at this point or became aware before Macho B was trapped where the snares were located.

On 11-14-08 McCain sends another email to the above listed persons to notify them of the mountain range name and UTM coordinates of the 7-29-08 picture of Macho B.

On 11-17-08 McCain emails his friend, Roberto Aguilar (a vet with large cat immobilization experience and ties in AZ) about his involvement in the AZGFD snaring project and his recent lion captures. McCain also states: “Old Macho B just showed up again! We are again working on permission to collar him if we get the chance.” Aguilar responds in part: “I really worry the noose (snare) may permanently damage a more powerful cat, such as a jag. And an old jag is a high risk, so I would think about it.” Aguilar forwards the email string between him and McCain to his friend, Erin Fernandez, “jaguar lead” for Tucson, AZ office of USFWS.

On 11-19-08 McCain emails Thompson in part: ” Also has Terry Johnson (then Endangered Species Coordinator for AZGFD) talked to you at all about snaring in the Atascosas/Tumacacoris? (where Macho B’s latest photos were taken) Where does that stand? I would love to get those snares over there open again, but will wait for the word.” (this email is part of a string where McCain later thanks Thompson for his call)

On 11-21-08 McCain emails our BJDP boss, Jack Childs: “Just so you know. Johnson has not said a word to Ron (Thompson) about the trapping situation.”

At this point the snaring project has run out of collars so trapping is on hold. If there was ever a time to re-evaluate the snaring project in regard to Macho B’s latest detections this was it. That evaluation never took place but preparations for a jaguar capture did.


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