Ocelot Endangerment On Endangered Species Act

1923 Words Dec 1st, 2016 8 Pages
Ocelot Endangerment in Texas

Zoë Steele

The leopardus pardalis, or the ocelot, also known as the dwarf leopard, has been endangered since 1982 and is protected by the Endangered Species Act (FWS, 2010). Ocelots have been declared a federally endangered species (Tewes, 2001). They are native to South and Central America as well as Mexico (FWS, 2010). Texas is a far north as the wild cat has been found, but a few have been noted to have lived in Arizona and Louisiana in the past (Campbell, 2003, Moore, 2013). A feature that denotes it from other cats is the parallel striping descending down the neck and above the eyes. It is a medium sized cat with body size resembling the bobcat, weighing between 24 and 35 pounds when full grown (FWS, 2010).
The habitat ocelots require include thick, thorny shrub and deep, fertile clay or loamy soils (Campbell, 2003). Humans cannot walk or see through the dense brush that ocelots call home. The Ocelot once inhabited regions of Texas to include the Edward’s Plateau and Coastal Plain regions. Now they reside in the Cameron, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, San Patricio, Starr, Willacy, and Zapata counties of Texas. Ocelots require about 95% canopy coverage as well as thickness of shrubbery for habitat. Borderline habitats have 75-95% canopy coverage. The types of soil required for growth of the best coverage and habitat are also coveted by companies seeking to expand agriculture. An…
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