Federal wildlife officials are proposing to designate more critical habitat in the American Southwest for the jaguar.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a revamped proposal this week for setting aside more than 1,340 square miles of habitat in Arizona and New Mexico for the rare cat. That's 31 square miles more than the previous proposal.
The agency says the revision reflects the cats' use of a wider range of vegetated areas and eliminates high elevations not frequented by jaguars.
Some of the additional proposed critical habitat lies in areas where a jaguar was recently photographed in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson by remote cameras run by the University of Arizona. Those areas weren't in the original critical habitat. The proposed Rosemont Mine site, which was in the original habitat plan, remains in this one.
With the change, the agency has reopened the public comment period for the revised rule along with the draft economic analysis and draft environmental assessment.
The comment period will end Aug. 9.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is planning a public meeting July 30 in Sierra Vista.
The Arizona Daily Star contributed to this report.