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A Ocelot looks like a panther but it has darker spots and a panther has lighter spots. There are about 100 thought to be left in the United States. They are also located in Mexico, South America and Central America.

Surviving on small patches of scrub land, in small isolated groups

At one time the Texas ocelot's range extended as far away as Louisiana and Arkansas in the United States and farther southwest into Coahuila, Mexico, and along the Gulf Coast in Tamaulipas. Ranchers began settling into the area in the 19th century and cleared land for cattle grazing.

In the 1930s, in south Texas, large-scale brush clearing to convert lands to cropland took a steep toll on the cats' habitat, hemming them in on increasingly smaller patches of land. Enterprising farmers were anxious to scrape the brambles off the land to exploit the fertile soil of the Rio Grande delta.

The tiny fraction of ocelot habitat that remains is largely fragmented, leaving most ocelots stranded on the 45,000-acre Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge and on a handful of private lands, with very little new habitat for the cats to raise future generations. Because the south Texas ocelots are found in such small and isolated groups, they tend to inbreed, making them increasingly vulnerable to extinction.

So help these animals.

Written a little bit by Nadine and most of it by EDF means Environmental Defense Fund

Article posted October 17, 2009 at 11:04 AM • comment • Reads 133 • see all articles

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