A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World
Another Ocelot Confirmed in Arizona
February 16, 2011Posted by on
An endangered ocelot was seen by a man working on his yard in an area of southern Arizona. His dogs had been barking at an unidentified animal, which climbed a tree, so the man reported it to Arizona Game and Fish. One of their officers arrived and confirmed it was an ocelot.
Ocelots have been protected as endangered in the United States since 1972.
The last confirmed sighting of an ocelot in Arizona was in 2009. They used to live in Arizona, Louisiana, and Arkansas, but now only live in a very small part of Texas and occasionally wander into Arizona from Mexico. There are reportedly only about 50 ocelots left in the wild in the United States.
Much of their natural habitat, the dense thorn forest in the Rio Grande delta, has been cleared, leaving them vulnerable to dogs and having to cross roads to find pockets of forest. The major cause of death for these cats now is being hit by cars.
Researchers are now attempting to preserve wildlife corridors for the animals to move freely from one area to another, which will prevent inbreeding within isolated populations.
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