What Is Being Done to Save the Ocelot?

Two of the major dangers to ocelots have been the eradication of their preferred habitat and the aggressive hunting of the animals for their pelts. Thus, according to Texas A&M University, efforts to protect this big cat revolve around enforcing laws that protect it from hunting and ownership as well as collaborations with private landowners willing to cultivate ocelot-friendly environments on their property.

Wildlife Extra has estimated that only about 100 ocelots still exist in the United States. This alarmingly low number has been the result of over-hunting, particularly in the 20th century, and the gradual erosion of land favored by ocelots. Ocelots prefer terrain which is rich in contiguous dense brush, not open or sporadically brushed land.

States like Texas are engaging in extensive partnerships with willing landowners to establish Safe Harbor Agreements, whereby landowners are given incentives to create areas on their land favorable to wildlife like ocelots, particularly through the planting of native thorn shrubs. According to Wildlife Extra, landowners in as many as five Texas counties are involved in the initiative. Also, scientists and biology students have been attaching radio collars to ocelot specimens to track their activities and progress living in the wild. Finally, international trade of ocelot furs is largely eradicated, with the United States banning importation in 1972, according to the Feline Conservation Federation.