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TUCSON, Ariz. ó A wildlife biologist at the forefront of global jaguar conservation is speaking out against a federal proposal for critical habitat for the rare cat in Arizona and New Mexico.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that Alan Rabinowitz says the plan lacks scientific credibility and is unsupported by data.

He made the remarks in recent comments submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the jaguar habitat proposal. Rabinowitz is founder and CEO of the global, New York City-based wildcat conservation group known as Panthera.

In August, federal wildlife officials proposed designating more than 1,300 square miles in New Mexico and Arizona as critical habitat for the jaguar.

The rare cat was placed on the federal endangered species list in 1997.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Associated Press,

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