#MapMonday: Ocelots

In honor of the Ocelot Conservation Festival, this episode of #MapMonday takes a look at this charismatic cat’s current and historic range. Check out the maps to learn more: http://dfnd.us/ocelotmaps

Click to view video transcript

Talia: Hi there and welcome back to Map Monday

In honor of the Ocelot Conservation Festival, we are going to take a look at the ocelot’s current and historic range.

The ocelot is a medium-sized wild cat found throughout the Americas from Argentina to the southwestern U.S.

Today, ocelot presence in the U.S. is severely limited. While they were historically found throughout Texas, Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Louisiana they are now largely confined to Texas with occasional sightings in Arizona.

There are only about 60 ocelots in the U.S. today. Ocelot decline is largely attributed to land conversion including agriculture, urbanization and roads.

They are also vulnerable to rodenticide, which they can be exposed to if they eat poisoned prey.

In order to protect ocelots in the U.S. and help their populations recover, we need to focus on expanding their habitat and ensuring it has adequate protections.

Let’s hear from our Texas representative and ocelot expert Dr. Shari Wilcox to learn more about what Defenders is doing to help ocelots. Over to you Shari.

Shari: Thanks Talia.

At Defenders of Wildlife we are working to promote habitat restoration and connectivity for the ocelot.

We collaborate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, local organizations, landowners and the general public to increase awareness about ocelots and the threats that they face.

Our goal is to promote coexistence between Texas communities and this wild cat. As part of these efforts, we are currently working with a broad group of partners to prevent the construction of new liquified natural gas terminals in South Texas.

If these facilities are built, they would cut off an important migration corridor for the ocelot and further reduce their habitat connectivity.

We will continue to work for the ocelot and their population recovery here, in Texas.

Back to you Talia.

Talia: Thanks so much Shari - it’s great to hear about the work Defenders is doing to protect the ocelot.

Make sure to check out the map to learn more about this charismatic cat.

If you want to be a part of ocelot conservation efforts - you can help raise awareness by letting others know about their conservation needs and presence in the U.S. and by sharing this video on your social media.

Thanks for watching and Happy Ocelot Conservation Week!

Talia Niederman
Staff Scientist

As Staff Scientist, Talia provides science support, research and coordination for Defenders. She is a key resource and bridge-builder for Defenders’ conservation programs and external science networks.