STATUS: Endangered without critical habitat.|
DESCRIPTION: Small (88-128 cm total length), slender bodied, long tailed, unspotted cat, about twice the size of a large domestic cat. There are three color phases gray, red, and black.
HABITAT: Inhabits thick, dense, thorny brushlands in the lower Rio Grande Valley. The thickets need not be continuous; interspersed clear areas are tolerated. Localities near streams preferred or wherever dense vegetation occurs in their range.
Present: In Texas, Willacy and Cameron counties. Unconfirmed sightings are reported in Aransas and Brazoria counties.
THREATS AND/OR REASONS FOR DECLINE: Habitat loss and alteration, primarily due to brush clearing and predator control activities.
Historic: South Texas, southeast Arizona; east and west coasts of Mexico; southern Mexico, and Central and South America.
OTHER INFORMATION: Diet consists mainly of small mammals and birds. This cat is active both during the day and night. Spends most of its time on the ground, but it is a good climber. Life span ranges from 16 to 22 years. Two to three young are produced per litter and usually two litters per year. Recovery plan finalized in 1990. The species may be nearly extirpated in the United States.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. August 1992. Threatened and Endangered Species of Texas.
Endangered Species Office, Albuquerque, New Mexico