STATUS: Endangered from the United States (Texas and Arizona) to Central and South America without critical habitat.|
DESCRIPTION: Small (30-441 inches long and 15-40 lbs.), spotted cat. Females are smaller than males. The upper surface (backs) are grayish to cinnamon, paler on the sides; underparts and inside limbs are whitish; dark markings form streaks that run obliquely down the sides, with two black stripes on each cheek. Young ocelots are darker than adults.
HABITAT: In Texas, the species inhabits dense, almost impenetrable thickets that offer seclusion. IT once occurred in desert scrub communities in southeastern Arizona. South of the United States, ocelots occur in humid tropical forests, coastal mangroves, and swampy savannas.
Present: In Texas, is confined to native brushland of the lower Rio Grande Valley and also in other vegetated areas of south Texas. Mexico, Central and South America.
THREATS AND/OR REASONS FOR DECLINE: Habitat alteration and loss (primarily due to brush clearing) and predator control activities.
Historic: Over much of Texas, but restricted to wooded areas of streams, creeks, and drainages. Also occurred in southeastern Arizona, along the west and east coasts of Mexico, Central and South America.
OTHER INFORMATION: Only one litter per year is produced, litter size is 1-3 (usually 1 or 2). At Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge seven litters contained 1 or 2 kittens. Excellent climber and hunts both in trees and ground. Recovery Plan finished in 1990.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. August 1992. Threatened and Endangered Species of Texas.
Endangered Species Office, Albuquerque, New Mexico