The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service on Monday to protect jaguars in Southern Arizona from a proposed copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tucson alleged the proposed Rosemont Mine would destroy jaguar habitat in violation of federal environmental laws, the Tucson-based center said in a news release Monday.
The center said the mine would destroy most of the territory where the jaguar known as El Jefe lives and a corridor that allows jaguars to move between Arizona and Mexico.
The lawsuit challenged an opinion prepared by the fish and wildlife service that led to the approval of the mine by the forest service in June.
Other federal regulatory agencies must give their approval before the plan for the open-pit mine can go forward.