First ocelot photo ever in Arizona

This video from the USa says about itself:

In this new edition of Big Cat Rescue’s species spotlight we take a look at the ocelot.

From Wildlife Extra:

First ever record of Ocelot from Arizona

19/04/2010 09:02:57

Rare tropical wild cat found alive in Arizona:

April 2010. Remote cameras have captured an image of an ocelot, a rare tropical cat, in Arizona, according to Sky Island Alliance, a Tucson-based regional conservation organization.

Sky Island Alliance sets remote cameras to unobtrusively observe wildlife and assess wildlife corridors in Arizona’s Sky Island region. One of the most remote cameras was recently checked for the first time for several months, and was found to have an image of the ocelot.

First Arizona record

This remarkable photograph is the first verifiable record of this elusive wild feline alive in Arizona. Although a small number of ocelots live in south Texas, ocelots have never before been recorded alive in Arizona. Additionally, this record from Arizona places ocelots over 200 miles north in latitude from where they are found in Texas.

About the Ocelot

These medium-sized tropical cats have long tails and agile bodies, weighing about 35 pounds. Their tan-brown fur is darkly spotted with distinguishing parallel black stripes on the forehead, neck and shoulder. Ocelots mostly hunt at night and eat small rodents, birds and lizards. The ocelot was listed in the U.S. as a federally endangered species in 1982. Fossil records of ocelots in Arizona date back 10,000 years, but more recent historic records are rare and primarily evidenced by pelts.

“We now know that these incredibly rare cats are here with us, can co-exist with us, and have done so right under our noses,” said Sky Island Alliance biologist Jessica Lamberton. “That an ocelot is here in Arizona tells us that the habitat is healthy, and the connection between healthy landscapes is still a possibility for ocelots and other species.”

About the Sky Islands

The Sky Island region of southwest United States and northwest Mexico is comprised of mountain “islands” separated by desert and grassland valleys. This biologically diverse region is a unique blend of temperate and tropical biological zones and species. The Sky Islands are home to four of the world’s 32 species of wild cats – jaguar, puma, bobcat and ocelot.

After learning about the news, Dan Shepherd, Director of the Witness for Wildlife program stated that “This is what our program is all about – by engaging conservation professionals and citizen naturalists, together we can provide field data, like these ocelot images, that are critical to helping protect and reconnect wild landscapes giving wildlife and people the freedom to roam.”


Sky Island Alliance has documented ocelots in northern Sonora, Mexico for the last three years in partnership with a local rancher, and in January 2010 successfully photographed a jaguar in the same area. Although politically divided by an international boundary, this area is biologically connected to the region in the U.S. where the Arizona ocelot has been discovered. For ocelots to continue to live in the Sky Island region, wildlife migration corridors that link important habitat areas between Mexico and the United States must be protected.

February 2011. Arizona Game and Fish Department officials report that a rare ocelot has been seen and photographed in the Huachuca Mountains in southern Arizona: here.

March 2012. The Arizona Game and Fish Department announced a highly probable, but not verifiable, sighting of a rare ocelot in Arizona: here.

ScienceDaily (July 12, 2011) — Current and proposed border fences between the United States and Mexico pose significant threats to wildlife populations, with those animals living in border regions along the Texas Gulf and California coasts showing some of the greatest vulnerability, a new study from The University of Texas at Austin shows: here.

House GOP Wants to Waive Environmental Laws on US Borders. Rob Hotakainen, McClatchy Newspapers: “In a move aimed at improving national security, House Republicans want to give the U.S. Border Patrol unprecedented authority to ignore 36 environmental laws on federal land in a 100-mile zone stretching along the Canadian and Mexican borders. If the legislation is approved, the Border Patrol would not have to comply with the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Solid Waste Disposal Act and 32 other federal laws in such popular places as Olympic National Park, Glacier Park, the Great Lakes and the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area”: here.

6 thoughts on “First ocelot photo ever in Arizona

  1. Solano County lake a refuge for native species

    Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer

    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    David Paul Morris / Special to The Chronicle

    Now you see it, in June you won’t.

    Olcott Lake is a 150-acre watery wonderland in Solano County that appears for only a few months a year.

    Due to the rainy winter and a host of conservation efforts, Olcott Lake is among the largest vernal pools in California and teeming with shrimp, salamanders and other endangered species.

    “Of all the conservation plans, this one is really working,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Al Donner. “But we couldn’t do it ourselves. This required a lot of groups’ involvement. It’s been the very light hand of government.”

    Olcott Lake, in the Jepson Prairie Preserve east of Fairfield, is open to the public through Mother’s Day. Visitors can see a blinding spray of wildflowers and an array of rare, unique animals that have evolved over 250 million years to thrive in the unpredictable, temporal vernal pool habitat.

    California’s Central Valley was once puddled with thousands of vernal pools, springtime bodies of water ranging from a few feet to 100 acres or more. The pools are formed by rain runoff prevented from seeping into the ground by a layer of impenetrable clay-like soil. The pools typically appear in winter and by late spring or early summer have evaporated completely. Lake Olcott is likely to be a muddy depression in a cow pasture by mid-June, biologists said.

    Over the millennia, dozens of species adjusted to life in vernal pools: peculiar, challenging habitats that are aquatic a few months of the year, subjected to parched and scorching conditions in the summer and sporadic droughts in which the rains never come at all.

    Stopover for birds

    The fresh-water, fish-less pools provide ideal stopovers for migrating birds and other animals that feast on the resident shrimp and salamanders.

    California’s vernal pools began vanishing in the 19th century, as farmers and developers began draining and filling the pools for cropland and homes. Today, only 20 percent of those pools remain, most in wildlife preserves like Jepson Prairie.

    Olcott Lake, waist-high at its deepest point, stretches across the grasslands like a great inland sea. Egrets and avocets swoop across the surface, hoping to snag stray fairy shrimp or tiger salamander larvae. Wildflowers and bunchgrass hug the shore, and cattle and sheep graze in the distance.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nature Conservancy, Solano Land Trust and UC Davis are among the groups that have worked to protect and expand the vernal pool habitats around Jepson Prairie. Much of the land has been acquired through agricultural easements, requiring the government to spend very little on property acquisition.

    Volunteers help remove nonnative plants, fix fences and lead tours on weekends.

    Since its founding in 1980, the preserve has grown from 1,566 acres to more than 4,500 acres, and organizers hope to expand it further under the local water agency’s Solano Habitat Conservation Plan, which calls for 30,000 acres of open space throughout the county.

    The pool is home to three endangered shrimp: two kinds of fairy shrimp and the tadpole shrimp, prehistoric-looking, 1-inch crustaceans whose eggs can survive years of hot, dry conditions before hatching when the next vernal pool arrives.

    Salamander mud holes

    It’s also habitat for the threatened California tiger salamander, a striking black and white amphibian that, but for a few brief months when the vernal pools arrive, spends most of its life huddled in underground mud holes.

    Vernal pools are a gold mine for biologists.

    “Because the pools are in such a harsh environment, it’s hard for nonnative species to get a foothold here,” said Betty Warner, a Fish and Wildlife recovery botanist. “So the pools become a refuge for native species.”

    Still, keeping nonnative species at bay and protecting what’s left of California’s natural habitats requires constant vigilance, said Virginia “Shorty” Boucher, manager of UC Davis’ natural reserves.

    “In California, you have to manage things. You can’t just let them sit, because so many people have been coming here, since the 17th century, bringing things that have just taken over,” she said.

    “If we want to maintain our natural flora and fauna, we have to get our hands dirty,” she said. “There’s no other way to do it.”

    If you go

    — Jepson Prairie Preserve is open during daylight hours every day. Guided tours begin at 10 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday through May 9. For more information, go to

    — Directions to Jepson Prairie Preserve from the Bay Area: East on Interstate 80, east on Highway 12 and then north on Highway 113. Take the first left at a warning light, and turn left onto Cook Lane at the second warning light. Continue down Cook Lane across the railroad tracks to the parking area near the eucalyptus trees.

    E-mail Carolyn Jones at

    This article appeared on page C – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle


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