22 July 2008
Cast of Characters #2 - Jaguarundi
In April of this year, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will waive federal environmental laws to meet the goal of finishing 670 miles of border fence by the end of 2008. The waiver, which will allow the department to slash through a thicket of environmental and cultural laws, would be the most expansive to date, encompassing land in California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas that stretches about 470 miles. The waivers are highly controversial with environmentalists and border communities, which see them as a federal imposition that could damage the land and disrupt wildlife. The 2,000-mile long U.S./Mexico border region is considered an extraordinary source of biological diversity -- deserts, mangrove forests, plains, mountains, river valleys, and wetlands. Environmental groups say that the border fence will bring disaster for the biological diversity of the region by restricting the movement of wildlife and disturbing the unique and fragile ecology of the region. The border area is home to many endangered species of plants, birds and animals, such as owls, parrots, jaguars, wolves, bears, and lions, that often need to move around as an essential element of their survival.
One species that particularly caught my attention is the Jaguarundi, a not-often seen cat that is found in Mexico and the southwestern U.S., so I decided to include a jagarundi in this print.