Whistling for the Jaguar

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

Archive for the tag “Endangered Species”

Thank you

I wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to read this blog and become interested in jaguar and/or wildlife conservation. My goal with this blog and my recently published book, Cloak & Jaguar was to provide all the information I have (via a FOIA request) regarding Macho B’s capture and death. What you, the reader, does with that information is, well, up to you. I encourage anyone who is interested in wildlife conservation to become a responsible advocate for the cause. If you choose to volunteer for or donate funds to a group or even hire a guide for a photographic tour of a national park please vet them. It takes a few moments but Google makes it easy. And not just the group as an entity but also the individuals doing research or work on their behalf.

As this blog comes to a close for more information about jaguar conservation please visit Conservation CATalyst, The Jaguar and its Allies, Southwest Jags, Northern Jaguar Project, and Panthera.

A reminder for anyone with information about wildlife and/or wildland crime, WildLeaks is there to help and can be contacted anonymously.

I would also like to thank everyone that has reached out to me over the years and more recently in regard to my book. I enjoy hearing from you and if anyone else wants to get in touch my contact is: cloakandjaguar@yahoo.com

Finally, if anyone has a moment in their busy lives a review of my book on Amazon would be appreciated. It’s easy; just login to your Amazon account and go to the Cloak & Jaguar product page here and click on the Write a Review button. Also, anyone interested in buying a copy of Cloak & Jaguar the paperback is now on sale for $10.95 and the ebook for $5.99.

Many thanks!

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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Cloak & Jaguar Book Reviews

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Check out this  book review of Cloak and Jaguar. Then take some time to explore the rest of Josh’s comprehensive blog (and labor of love) about jaguars and big cats.

And this review from John Yunker of Ashland Creek Press and EcoLit Books.

From CounterPunch and also The Society of Environmental Journalists.

Basic Talk

While doing some research I came across this article.

It is a thought provoker concerning the most intrusive but accepted methodology in wildlife research, capturing animals. Macho B’s capture is a highlighted example to the preface of the essay.

Five Years

Because of Macho B we have the knowledge of what jaguar “conservation” truly means in Arizona and thus, the U.S.   Because of him,

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We can protect him,

Jaguar 2012-10-25

It is past time to get AZGFD out of endangered carnivore “conservation.” It is time to shatter the incestuous world of wildlife conservation in Arizona. It is way past time to hold AZGFD and USFWS accountable for all they have not done to protect jaguars and other species (mainly carnivores) and all they did to contribute to Macho B’s snaring and death. If you have an idea on how to accomplish these goals please contact me (whistlingforthejaguar@yahoo.com) or please contact whomever to get the ball rolling. If you have information on how these agencies failed to protect any species and/or may have been complicit in their injury or death please speak out; either here or somewhere. It is time to act. Will you join me?

Cloak and Jaguar

I have finally finished the first draft of my book, Cloak and Jaguar.  I am in the process of putting together a proposal to send to agents and publishers as I begin the search for support and a home for my manuscript.  It is just the beginning of a probable long journey of  rejections, re-writes, edits, and “killing my darlings.”

Here is a preview, Cloak & Jaguar

Thanks goes to Dexter Oliver for his edits.

Say what?!

I received an email from Ron Thompson recently and have embedded it below in this post.  Thompson was McCain’s supervisor/confidante/mentor on the AZGFD lion and bear snaring project and is currently employed on the tax payer funded University of Arizona jaguar study.

His message was just too bizarre so I had to share it.

Ms. Janay,

After just now reading your blog I see you are as biased as Dennis Wagner or any reporter was in the McCain jaguar debacle, of which you were one of two key figures. Your constant use of “according to McCain” in reference to my involvement should alone alert your intelligence to be suspect of any one’s involvement when referred to by McCain verbally. Yet you constantly repeat his false testimony as the truth when blogging about others, especially me. Even the unknowingly can see the blame switch by McCain to persons who had no evidentiary record of conspiracy with evil McCain except that McCain said this or McCain said that. Yes, I initially supported McCain, that was my job as the contracts administrator for AZGFD lion and bear captures – until McCain told me that you were going to tell the press a “lie” about his use of scat. Imagine that, McCain telling me that YOU were a liar and not him. That was when I became suspicious without even so much as hearing your name prior. So because your blog has violated my legal right to not be defamed by your written and published word, I have decided to include you in a suit that I am preparing against the USFWS law enforcement agents who conducted the shoddy investigation, including one that I supervised until he quit Game and Fish for reasons I am familiar with. As McCain’s past “perceived supervisor”, as you and only you quoted,  I apologize now for reopening this event and if you want to reread your blog and then redact every “McCain said” you might have a clearer picture that only one person schemed to make it happen………….. who then, as YOUR “perceived supervisor”, McCain included you when he told you to place scat at a snare. I guess that made me YOUR supervisor at a higher level.
Ron Thompson

The End

My plan with this blog was to post all the information from the criminal investigation into Macho B’s capture and death that I legally could. I have accomplished that. Unless another intentionally suppressed document emerges from the depths of the AZGFD and/or USFWS or McCain invents another version of “But, I was THE victim!” in an inane attempt to gain back a tidbit of whatever credibility he had I probably will not post again. I left out the personal part of the story in this blog (mostly) so it focused solely on what was uncovered by the USFWS Special Agents during their investigation. I’ll get to the personal in my book. And speaking of personal, that is how I would like to end this blog.

Blowing the Whistle

First, regarding whistleblowers. If there are any future whistleblowers reading this blog please check out: http://www.whistleblower.org (link also under blogroll) for helpful information and advice before you come forward. Speaking the truth is not always perceived as the respectful, decent, moral, or right thing to do. As a whistleblower be prepared for the emotional, physical, and mental stress that will occupy your daily life. Know that the moment you blow the whistle, life as you know it will die. Be prepared for the strain on not just yourself, but also family, loved ones, and friends. Recognize that some of these relationships may not make it through the strain. Be financially prepared; if you are not fired ( I was) then you will be isolated to the point of wishing you were fired or demoted. Hire a lawyer before you utter one word. I didn’t hire a lawyer until I was charged and by then it was too late. The idea is self preservation and protection. The people whom you are blowing the whistle on will come at you with everything they have, fabricate even more, and attempt to turn you into the “bad” person and themselves into the victim. Be aware of whistleblower laws and protections, each state is different. Know that if you end up in the federal judicial system the Obama administration has been the hardest on whistleblowers in recent U.S. history, if not its whole. Adjust your expectations in the value of truth and justice. The truth is often inconvenient in whistleblower cases and the opposition will try to suppress, manipulate, and delete it. Justice is rarely found in the legal system. In my case it was absent.

It is unforgivable that whistleblowers are consistently retaliated against while those that remain quiet and uphold the status quo do so out of fear of said retaliation and those that are intentionally breaking the law and/or are endangering other lives, something or someone seem to persist in the shadows unscathed.

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Macho B

Macho B was an individual jaguar that lived and thrived in a vast and diverse ecosystem that spanned from southern Arizona into, in all probability, northern Mexico. He was not a symbol for open borders, wilderness designation, wild places, conservation, an organization, agency, or an open mine pit-free landscape. He was just a jaguar trying to survive in the world. If anything can be deemed symbolic of his life, it is the end of it. His snaring and death are symbolic and indicative of all that is wrong in wildlife conservation. If you see a jaguar in the wild please thank the stars, luck, the universe, God, or better yet, the jaguar and appreciate the moment. But, PLEASE do not call AZGFD, USFWS, or the University of AZ jaguar project to report the presence of the jaguar; they will end up endangering the animal, if not killing him or her.

Several prominent biologists have stated that Macho B’s existence, or any other jaguars’ in southern AZ or New Mexico are not significant to the jaguar species as a whole. That argument has always seemed odd and callous to me as it comes from biologists whom supposedly want to conserve the species, Panthera Onca and are interested and invested in the lives of  jaguars, yet they cherry pick which individuals of the species are important based on geography and funding. Macho B was important; he was a life, an endangered life by legal definition and his death was significant to the survival of his species. Because, if an individual jaguar’s life cannot be respected then how can the lives of the species be as a whole?

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We owe respect to the living. To the dead we owe only truth. Voltaire

S.O.S

Since coming forward as the whistleblower in the Macho B case almost four years ago and writing this blog the past year, I have accomplished almost nothing for positive, safe, and respectful change in the way jaguar conservation is conducted in Arizona and the U.S. The only positive to have come out of the whole situation is McCain not being able to work with large mammals in the U.S. for five years, but that equates to bad news for whatever animal he is currently “studying,” wherever that may be.

So I realize I need help, hopefully yours. Please consider taking a moment of time to contact anyone on the list below to ask what is being done to ensure the next jaguar documented in the U.S. does not meet the fate of Macho B. Thank you.

CONTACTS

1. AZ Congressman Raul Grijalva: He called for the USFWS to investigate Macho B’s snaring and death. In addition, the Congressman called for the Office of Inspector General to investigate. The OIG reported that AZGFD violated their permits. The OIG report and AZGFD’s responses can be found under the blogroll. From the December 2012 AZ Republic series on Macho B:

Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., who originally requested the criminal investigation, said Monday that his previous attempts to get answers were stymied but that he is determined to learn more about prosecutorial decisions and the continuing role of key officials in federal jaguar studies.

“It’s hard to describe,” Grijalva said. “Not only the tragedy involved, but the attempt to manipulate and cover up.”

And from a December 2012 Center for Biological Diversity article:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2012 — In a letter sent today, a broad coalition of 238 conservation, Hispanic, recreation, animal welfare, religious, labor, youth, business and women’s groups urged President Barack Obama to nominate Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) as the next interior secretary when that position opens. Grijalva is currently ranking member of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, and a leading Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee.

Congressman Grijalva not only has a responsibility to ensure the protection and conservation of any jaguar detected in the U.S. he also, apparently, has and may have more power to make that happen.

Tucson office: 520-622-6788

D.C. office: 202-225-2435

Grijalva’s Communications Director: Adam Sarvana: adam.sarvana@mail.house.gov

Grijalva’s Environment Consultant: Brandon Bragato: brandon.bragato@mail.house.gov

2. Doctor Benjamin Tuggle, Southwest Director of USFWS: RDTuggle@fws.gov

Dr. Tuggle should be asked why Erin Fernandez is still employed by USFWS and why she is still involved in jaguar conservation. In addition, Dr. Tuggle should explain why AZGFD is still one of the lead agencies in jaguar conservation in the U.S. despite violating their endangered species permits with USFWS and the Endangered Species Act when they illegally captured Macho B. Also, Tuggle should be asked why his agency granted the University of AZ $771,000 via the DHS mitigation fund when Ron Thompson and Jack Childs, two people his agency recommended being charged in the Macho B investigation, were involved and since Childs had previously violated his Endangered Species permits with the USFWS as the figurehead of the Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project.

3. Nicholas Chavez, USFWS Special Agent in Charge Southwest Region: 505-248-7889

Mr. Chavez should be asked why all government employee email accounts weren’t seized during the Macho B investigation, as well as, Jack Childs’ and why there wasn’t a more thorough and aggressive investigation into those same people. There was probable cause to thoroughly investigate all government officials, as well as, Childs. Just the information I have provided in this blog, as copied directly from the investigative documents I received in my FOIA request, is enough to charge just about everyone mentioned with conspiracy to take an endangered species, to wit, a jaguar known as Macho B.

4. Larry Voyles, AZGFD Director: lvoyles@azgfd.gov

Voyles should be asked why former Endangered Species Coordinator Terry Johnson is currently a paid consultant for AZGFD concerning jaguar issues. Also, when does he and his agency plan on apologizing to the public for lying about Macho B’s capture for close to four years? In addition, Voyles should also be asked to  remove AZGFD from all jaguar conservation activities since they broke the law illegally capturing Macho B and have demonstrated a disregard for the safety and well-being of the species.

5. Melanie Culver, Principle Investigator for the University of Arizona Jaguar Study: culver@ag.arizona.edu

Culver should be asked why, now that their involvement in Macho B’s illegal capture has publicly come into question and been highlighted in the AZ Republic series, Ron Thompson and Jack Childs are still involved in the U of AZ jaguar study?

“Jaguar Conservation”

I still have not received a response from Congressman Grijalva’s office. That equates to 46 days of silence.

Erin Fernandez is still employed as “Jaguar Lead” for the USFWS and involved in the U of AZ jaguar study. Terry Johnson is still a paid AZGFD consultant for jaguar and wolf issues though he failed both species when he was the Endangered Species Coordinator for AZGFD. Jack Childs and Ron Thompson are still with the U of AZ jaguar study and had their co-workers falling over themselves in a recent interview (see blogroll for link) to describe the men’s “knowledge” and “skills” in the wake of Dennis Wagner’s damning series of the Macho B investigation published in the AZ Republic (see blogroll for parts 1-3) which implicates both men in having a definite role in Macho B’s illegal capture. Come to think of it, there was enough evidence from the federal criminal investigation into Macho B’s capture and death which accomplished the same thing.

“We are very pleased about these photos,” said Lisa Haynes, who manages the research project and coordinates the Wild Cat Conservation and Research Center project. “I am proud of our field team and their incredible knowledge and capacity to place these cameras in the best locations to detect jaguar and ocelot movement.”

Culver, who is the project’s principal investigator, said: “What is exciting about this research project is the combination of techniques and skills, from the deep knowledge of our field people of how wild cats move around the landscape to cutting edge molecular-genetic analysis of the scats.

AZGFD is still one of the lead agencies in jaguar conservation in AZ and the U.S. despite violating their Endangered Species permits and the Endangered Species Act. Not to mention that they had inexperienced personnel in the field to capture a jaguar despite knowing it was a possibility, plus their snaring techniques and protocols were unsafe for the animals especially given the location of the snares along human/drug smuggling corridors.

I’m beginning to think that keeping these people/agencies involved in jaguar conservation is someone’s or some agency’s design in order to ensure that the jaguar species has no chance of survival in the U.S.

Open letter to Congressman Grijalva

January 16, 2013

Dear Congressman Grijalva,

I have contacted your Tucson and Washington DC offices on numerous occasions. I have left messages and talked with people on your staff that assured me someone would respond to my questions. So far, there has been silence from your office.

Last month you were quoted in an Arizona Republic series that highlighted the government corruption and cover-up that occurred in the jaguar, Macho B’s investigation:

Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., who originally requested the criminal investigation, said Monday that his previous attempts to get answers were stymied but that he is determined to learn more about prosecutorial decisions and the continuing role of key officials in federal jaguar studies.

“It’s hard to describe,” Grijalva said. “Not only the tragedy involved, but the attempt to manipulate and cover up.”

Is the above quote accurate and are you truly going to learn why Dennis Burke decided not to prosecute AZGFD and USFWS officials in this case and why those same officials are still pocketing a government or otherwise tax-funded salary and why they continue to be involved in jaguar research?

In 2009 I came forward as the whistleblower in the Macho B case. The information I provided Tony Davis of the AZ Daily Star was passed on to you and it was you whom took responsibility for the Macho B investigation by requesting that USFWS be the investigative lead on the case. As it turns out, USFWS did a poor job investigating and Dennis Burke did an even worse job on deciding whom would or wouldn’t be prosecuted.

Will you please honor and complete your responsibility to the Macho B investigation?

As I write this I guarantee that AZGFD are making sure their jaguar capture protocols are current and their federal permits are valid in preparation for capturing and collaring the jaguar that has been documented recently by the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine site. In fact, a year after Macho B was snared and killed, USFWS “amended” AZGFD’s permit to specifically include, and thus allow, for the capture and collaring of a jaguar in Arizona! Unfortunately for the jaguar, the same people involved in Macho B’s illegal snaring and death will be apart of this capture through their AZGFD, USFWS, and University of AZ jaguar study affiliations.

Will you allow this jaguar, or any other documented in the U.S., to be the next victim(s) of the governmental agencies that captured, collared, and killed the last jaguar to be documented in this country? I beg of you that you don’t.

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you in the near future. Your offices have my contact information.

Sincerely,

Janay Brun

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