Feeds

US ocelots on the brink

Last stand in corner of Texas

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.