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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ocelots continue to hang on by a slim thread in southern Texas with some 50 "cats" still calling the Lone Star State Home........The Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute has a pessimistic population model projecting the "blinking out" of the species within 50 years due to dwindling habitat and there being only two "island populations in Texas that are separated by a vast distance(no opportunity for the Ocelots to move back and forth and improve the gene pool as well as relatively tiny protected domains in each region)..........

Current Sightings: 


 of the ocelot: 


 cat's future 


Steve Sinclair;

Some major changes are planned at Laguna
 Atascosa National 
Wildlife Refuge that will 
have an effect on visitors.On Oct. 15 the
15-mile Bayside Drive
 will be closed to motorized vehicles,
 though it will remain open for hikers and
bicyclists.The popular
 drive is being closed after two
 ocelots became road casualties on the
 tour loop, including a
 nursing female. Part of Bayside Drive
passes through known ocelot habitat.

Laguna Atascosa and adjacent habitat is one of
 two strongholds
 for the endangered ocelot,
a small spotted cat about the size of a bobcat 

Within the past few
 years the official estimate for
 ocelots in South Texas has been reduced from 

less than 100 to
 about 50. The other ocelot
 population is farther north in ranch country.
 The refuge has by far the most cats.

Ocelots are shy, secretive cats mainly active
 after dusk and in my
 16 years in the Rio Grande
 Valley and a frequent refuge visitor, I have 

see three.
I have been in love with ocelots ever since I
 learned Texas still had
 a viable population.
 Along with refuge biologist Linda Laack, I

started the Ocelot
 Conservation Festival, with
 all money raised going for ocelot research

 and project. Over the
 years, the festival has
generated thousands of dollars to help with 

ocelot preservation.

The future of the ocelot in Texas is by no 
means certain. Mike
 Tewes, an expert on
 Texas wild cats at the Caesar Kleberg 

Wildlife Research Institute
 in Kingsville, once
 told me that one model has the ocelot 

disappearing from the
 state within 50 years.
 Other models are more optimistic.

But wildlife officials are committed to 
maintaining and hopefully
 increasing the ocelot
 population through management 

techniques and there has even
 been discussions of
bringing ocelots from Mexico to Texas

 to help diversify the gene 
pool. Currently,
 most of the ocelots at Laguna Atascosa 

are related.

The only ocelots in the United States are
 found in Texas and
 they are truly a treasure
 of the Lone Star State.

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