Jan. 21, 2010, 11:45AM
DALLAS — An environmental group is asking the federal government to further protect the endangered Texas ocelot.
There are only about 50 of the wild cats left in the United States, all of them in southern Texas.
The ocelot — which looks sort of like a leopard but is only about twice the size of a house cat — has been listed as endangered since 1982. But its habitat is still vanishing, so Denver-based WildEarth Guardians asked the federal government Thursday for a critical habitat designation.
The thorny scrub land favored by the ocelot has been giving way to agriculture and development.
The filing is part of the group's plan to file petitions and lawsuits over about a month to persuade the Obama administration to make wildlife protection a priority.
On the Net:
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org