Endangered Ocelots – Texas

Phantom Cat of the Chaparral: Endangered Ocelot

This 30 minute documentary highlights the important research and partnerships in place to ensure the recovery of the endangered ocelot. Biologists and landowners talk about tracking the cats, protecting and restoring ocelot habitat, the importance of partnerships, and what the public can do to help in the recovery of the species. The range of this small wild cat once extended from Mexico up into the southern states, including Texas, Arizona, Arkansas and Louisiana. Today there are an estimated 50 ocelots that remain in the United States, including a breeding population found in South Texas on the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.

This documentary is an especially important tool for educators looking for materials that emphasize biology and endangered species. For all other viewers, it provides rare footage of ocelots and tells the important story of what is being done on behalf of America’s little leopard.

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Thank you to the US F&W Service Southwest Region for sharing this beautiful film!

 

From the Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge website: 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is asking for the public’s assistance in the recovery of the ocelot, a highly endangered wild cat found in deep South Texas. FWS is the lead agency responsible for the recovery of this species and works with many partners, public and private, to ensure this beautiful cat will grace the Texas landscape for generations to come.

What to do if you do see a live ocelot, jaguarundi, cougar or jaguar

Please Contact: Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge: (956)748-3607 ext 111. Staff will ask for the date, time, detailed location and any identifying characteristics. After 4:30 pm, please leave a detailed message and we will return your call.

To report a DEAD or INJURED OCELOT, JAGUARUNDI, COUGAR, or JAGUAR (or species identification unknown), CALL DISPATCH IMMEDIATELY:
Day 956-784-7520
Night 956-330-5007

Provide important information, including your name and a phone number where you can be reached. Directions to the location and details of the site.

If you find a dead ocelot, please stay with the carcass if you can until FWS arrives. If you are not able to stay, please photograph the carcass and move off the road so that it is not visible to passersby. Be sure to let FWS know exactly where to find the carcass so they can retrieve it and collect important information such as internal tags and genetic information.

 

Talk to Us!

  1. An ocelot was spotted and photographed in the area where I live, new ulm, TX. It was in one of our local papers, either the Colorado county citizen or the new ulm paper.. it was in the paper just a month or so ago. The photo, as I recall it , was pretty good. Details on the cat could be seen.. I was not sure if this had bn reported to any one. I know, regretfully, that they are endangered.. we have also had cougar sightings and a red wolf was reported to me also in this area…
    thank you for all of your work with these endangered cats…-Nancy A. Meadows-Galloway

  2. I am reasonably certain that I saw an ocelot on June 20, 2016 at about 9:45 am on road 1050 3 or 4 miles west of Utopia, TX. I was driving west. The cat sauntered across the road across the opposite lane then into the lane in front of my car. I tried to stop but was going about 40 mph. I hit the cat at my right side front bumper (Honda CRV has plastic in front lower area.) I believe possibly only the cat’s tail was hit–I tried to see it in my rear view mirror afterward but it must have continued on into the brush. The impact felt very minimal with no sense that it was “run over”and there was no fur or blood on my vehicle. I am from the Rio Grande Valley and was surprised to see an ocelot so far north, much less mid morning and on the road way. It’s difficult to be certain but I really don’t think the cat was seriously injured–I sincerely hope not.

  3. I live in Grayson county and I just had one in my backyard. My phone is 201-650-4084. It looked to be about 20-25lbs. I just moved her from nj and have never seem anything like it before.

    • Please contact the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge: (956)748-3607 ext 111. Staff will ask for the date, time, detailed location and any identifying characteristics.

  4. Hi,
    I’ve always been intrigued by these beautiful cats. Thank you for the video. I’m going to seek out more recent news and info..
    Thanks again,
    Pete

    • There is what i think to be a dead ocelot at or near the intersection of loop 463 and lone tree road, in victoria, tx. Probably hit within last 3 hrs. It is 12:27pm on memorial day. Anyone wanting info call me on 512 731 8141

      • Thanks for letting us know. The information below is taken from the Friends of Laguna Atascosa website:

        What to do if you see an Ocelot
        The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is asking for the public’s assistance in the recovery of the ocelot, a highly endangered wild cat found in deep South Texas. FWS is the lead agency responsible for the recovery of this species and works with many partners, public and private, to ensure this beautiful cat will grace the Texas landscape for generations to come.

        1. To report a DEAD or INJURED OCELOT
        (or species identification unknown), CALL DISPATCH IMMEDIATELY:
        Day 956-784-7520
        Night 956-330-5007

        2. Provide important information, including your name and a phone number where you can be reached. Directions to the location and details of the site.

        3. If you find a dead ocelot, please stay with the carcass if you can until FWS arrives. If you are not able to stay, please photograph the carcass and move off the road so that it is not visible to passersby. Be sure to let FWS know exactly where to find the carcass so they can retrieve it and collect important information such as internal tags and genetic information.