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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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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Ocelot and Margay are sympatric southwestern carnivore scrub habitat dwellers, barely clinging to life in Texas(and perhaps) Arizona...........Ocelots hunt ground dwelling mammals(Armadillos) whereas Margays hunt those mammals like rats and squirrels that make their living in the tree tops...........100 or so Ocelots are confirmed in two southern Texas locales whereas the Margay might be functionally extinct in the USA....................Only 1% of Texas remains in brush and thorn habitat so the chances for expansion of these populations is very slim...............Note that pre 1850, Arkansas and Louisiana in addition to Arizona was the USA range of the Ocelot............

click on link above to read full article

Haemig PD  (2012)  Ecology of
and Margay.



Margaykat Leopardus wiedii.jpg

Ecology of 



and Margay


The Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and
Margay (Leopardus wiedii) are two 
small spotted cats that live in 
neotropical forests. They are more
 closely related to each other than to 
ncestor (Slattery et al. 1994; Masuda 
et al. 1996; Eizirik et al. 1998).  In 
this report, we compare the ecology
 of these two cats, noting similarities
 and differences.

Although similar in appearance, the
 Ocelot and Margay can be told 
apart by many small characters 
(Emmons 1990). For example,
the Margay's tail is longer than
 its hind leg, while the Ocelot's 
tail is shorter than its hind leg 
(Emmons 1990).  In addition, 
the Ocelot is larger and more 
robust than the Margay 
(weighing about 3 times as
 much), and hunts for food mainly
 on the ground (Goldman 1920;
 Emmons 1988).

In contrast, the Margay forages 
for food mainly in trees 
(Guggisberg 1975, Konecny 
1989), and shows many 
adaptations for arboreal living.
 For example, the smaller size
 of the Margay enables it to 
walk further out on branches 
than the Ocelot, and its longer 
tail enables it to more easily
 maintain balance.  It also has
 superb leaping ability
 (Petersen 1977) and its claws
 are proportionately longer 
than the Ocelot (Leyhausen 
1963; Konecny 1989).  In 
addition, the Margay is the 
only New World cat with joints
 that rotate sufficiently for it 
to climb headfirst down trees 
with hind feet turned facing
 the trunk, like a squirrel 
(Leyhausen 1963; Emmons 1990).

 and Habitat
The Margay ranges from the
 Mexican state of Sonora and
 the Lower Rio Grande Valley
 of Texas to Uruguay and
 Argentina (Gallo-Reynoso 
and Navarro-Serment 2002)
. Only one specimen is known 
from the historic period of Texas:
 an adult male collected at Eagle
 Pass and entered into the U.S.
 National Museum collection in 
1852 (Hollister 1914).
Because the Margay is generally
 less abundant than the Ocelot 
throughout its range (Goldman 
1920; Leopold 1959), and is
 secretive in its habits, it is
 unknown whether or not 
Margays still roam south Texas. 
 However, the extensive deforestation
 and brush clearing that has 
occurred there does not inspire
 much hope, particularly the 
destruction of most of the tall,
 gallery forests of Montezuma 
Bald Cypress (Taxodium mucronatum)
 and Sabal Palm (Sabal texana) along
 the Lower Rio Grande River. 

The Eagle Pass specimen differs
 from Mexican Margays in that its
 fur is longer, with solid or nearly 
solid black dorsal spots, instead 
of enclosed lighter areas (Goldman
 1943). For this reason, the Margay
 specimen from Eagle Pass was 
classified as a unique subspecies
 and given the scientific name
 Leopardus wiedii cooperi
 (Goldman 1943).

Although many people assume that
 the Margay is found only in lowland
 tropical forests, Nelson and Goldman
 (1931) collected an adult male 
specimen of this cat at an altitude 
of over 3000 meters near the summit
 of Cerro San Felipe, Oaxaca, Mexico
 in 1894.  While it is possible that
 this and the Eagle Pass specimen
 were just individual cats that wandered
 outside their normal haunts, both
 demonstrate that we have much to learn
 still about the Margay.
In this regard, prehistoric records are
 especially interesting because they 
suggest further penetration of this 
species into what is now the United 
States of America.

  For example, a sub-fossil specimen
 of the Margay dated 2,400 BC has 
been collected from a shell midden 
in a tidal marsh near the mouth of 
the Sabine River, Orange County, 
Texas (Eddleman and Akersten 1966). 
 This locality is just a short distance
 west of the Texas-Louisiana border.

The Ocelot currently ranges from 
south Texas and Sonora to northern
 Argentina and Uruguay.  However, 
its range in historic times was 
considerable greater. In the 1800's,
 the Ocelot occurred throughout
 the state of Texas and also in 
parts of the states of Arkansas,
 Louisiana and Arizona (Hall 1981).
  The disappearance of the Ocelot
 from most of its United States 
range was a great loss for, as 
Audubon noted, it is the most
 beautiful of all cats found in
 North America (Audubon &
Bachman 1846).

Studies of the remaining U.S.A.
 Ocelots (i.e. those in south Texas)
 have found them restricted to
 dense thorn shrub and forest 
habitats with over 75% canopy
 cover (Shindle 1996, Shindle &
 Tewes 1998; Harveson et al. 2004; 
Horne et al. 2009).  Unfortunately,
 because of extensive brush clearing
 and deforestation by humans, less
 than 1% of south Texas now supports
 these kinds of habitats (Tewes &
 Everett 1986).  The result is that the
 last surviving Ocelots in the U.S.A. 
(approximately 100 in number) are
 now endangered because their 
brush and forest habitats are 
almost gone (Mora 2000; Haines et al.
 2005; Janecka et al. 2007, 2008).

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