The ocelot was placed on the endangered species list on March 30, 1972. Its habitat is mainly in Texas and southern Arizona. The ocelot quite small compared to other wildcats. It is only 3 to 4.5 feet in length and weighs just 30 pounds. To compensate for its size, the ocelot has quite powerful legs making it one of the fastest wildcats. It has coat of light yellow with black spots and bars, making it a camouflage in the darkness and in tall grass. The ocelot hunts at night and spends most of the day secure from predators in high trees. Its diet consists of birds, deer, agouti, and mice. The ocelot's mating season is from early September to late November. Females bare 1 to 2 babies.
This picture was by Tom Smylie at the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The site covers US endangered species and is found at http://www.fws.gov/r9endspp/i/a40.html

As far back as the Aztecs, the ocelot has been hunted for its beautiful coat. Hunting, along with the clearing of brush lands in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, have definitely threatened the ocelot population.

Today, 120 ocelots inhabit Texas. However, San Antonio Zoo is coordinating with several other surrounding zoos to learn more information about these unfortunate cats. They are using advanced tracking equipment along with videotaping, to learn more about their behavior and activity. Eventually, the zoos will begin to breed the ocelots, in an attempt to one day reintroduce them into the wild.
This photo was taken by Tony Rath and is found at the IUCN (World Conservation Union) pages at http://lynx.uio.no/catfolk/spa-ams1.htm


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This page was developed by Steve Leone as a student project for Environmental Ethics, Phil 323, at the University of Arizona.
Copyright 1999, Steve Leone and the University of Arizona
Last update May 5, 1999.
Comments: Contact E. Willott: willott@u.arizona.edu
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