atascosa

How Texas Is Bringing the Ocelot Back

“People are proud that this animal lives here and a lot of landowners right around the refuge have made active steps towards helping us with their conservation.”

by Michael Marks

The armadillo, the mockingbird, the horned lizard – all critters with a special place in the hearts of Texans. Not so much the ocelot and maybe that’s why this cat is so hard to spot anymore.

In Texas, they’re said to be down to the double digits. But federal conservationists have a plan to bring them back.

Hilary Swarts, an ocelot biologist at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, says solutions to revitalize the state’s ocelot population will involve with the U.S Department of Transportation and Fish and Wildlife Services in Mexico.

Ocelot protection requires habitat restoration to counter human development, Swarts says, which threatens their native environments of Texas, Eastern Arkansas and Louisiana…

(read more: Texas Standard)

photograph by Mike Fisher/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)