Feeds

US ocelots on the brink

Last stand in corner of Texas

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The US's population of ocelots - estimated at "100 or less" - came one step closer to extinction this week with the unexplained death of a breeding age male in southeast Texas's Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Reuters reports.

The refuge is home to just 30 to 40 breeding adults, and since the colony is cut off from other isolated ocelot populations, it has a limited genetic pool. Accordingly, the loss of one animal is a serious blow to the species. Jody Mays, a US Fish & Wildlife Service biologist, said: "You really hate to lose any of them when there are so few of them."

Human activity is the principal cause of the US ocelot's woes, with farming and residential development increasingly pushing the creature into smaller pockets. As their range is limited, these populations become increasingly vulnerable to "sudden die-offs from disease or a sharp drop in food supplies" - risks which in turn rise as the population contracts.

Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) once ranged from Louisiana and Arkansas, but look likely to disappear completely from the US. Subspecies are still found right across Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina. They were once considered a vulnerable endagered species, but the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in 2006 rated them as "Least Concern" on its Red List. ®

Bootnote

The Texas ocelot subspecies is Leopardus pardalis albescens. The Central American subspecies Leopardus pardalis aequatorialis has a fearsome reputation among Panama's indigenous populations. One Choco Indian in the country's southern Darien region once told this hack how he'd been attacked by an animal which killed his two hunting dogs and then set about his throat. He said he'd been lucky to escape with his life, and had the scars to prove it. Sadly, his survival on that occasion depended on dispatching the ocelot with a rifle.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.