Friday, March 13, 2009

Texas: Ocelots to be in the state spotlight

Friday, March 13, 2009 at 11:44 a.m.

Highway constuction, housing developments and other manmade projects are putting strain on the Rio Grande Valley's dwindling ocelot population.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) Commission is meeting in Austin on March 26 to discuss ocelot conservation efforts.

State biologists believe that there are less 100 ocelots left in the two isolated areas in Texas. Both of those areas are in the Valley.

TPWD officials said those populations have been deteriorating, both genetically and demographically, over the past 25 years.

The TPWD Commission is expected to discuss strategies to reverse some of this population loss and increase the survival probability of ocelots in Texas.

Among the proposals is an Ocelot Translocation Working Group to possibly relocate ocelots in new areas of South Texas as well as introduce new genes into the Valey population.


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