U.S. Wildlife Management Plan: Recovery of the Endangered Ocelot(Leopardus pardalis) in Arizona, New Mexico, and TexasDaniel Zerinskas* and Carol A. Pollio
American Public University, West Virginia, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Daniel Zerinskas
American Public University
N George St, Charles Town
West Virginia, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: February 11, 2013; Accepted Date: September 21, 2013; Published Date: September 24, 2013
Citation: Zerinskas D, Pollio CA (2013) U.S. Wildlife Management Plan: Recovery of the Endangered Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Poult Fish Wildl Sci 1:109. doi:10.4172/2375-446X.1000109
Copyright: © 2013 Zerinskas D, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) once inhabited the entire southwest region of the United States, but native populations are in severe decline as a result of habitat loss, isolation, and excessive hunting prior to the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Currently, two ocelot populations are known to exist in southern Texas, and there is evidence of individual ocelots occupying southeastern Arizona. Although protected from hunting and direct human impact, the U.S. ocelot populations remain in decline. Ocelots are a solitary species requiring a significant amount of habitat to establish a home range and a defendable territory during breeding season. The loss of habitats and migration routes results in limited reproductive success as well as decreased genetic variability, causing a decline in population growth. Contributing to the negative population trend is the impacts of human development and traffic causing early mortality in otherwise healthy individuals. The conservation and preservation of key habitat and high quality corridors is essential to re-establishing ocelot populations in much of its prior range. Additionally, translocation and reintroduction programs should be introduced and maintained in collaboration with habitat conservation to increase the probability of viable populations.