The ocelot is a feline from America with a similar appearance to the jaguar but smaller. It is one of the main predators in its habitat, and ranges from the southern United States to the southernmost regions of Brazil and Paraguay. However, despite the fact that its habitat covers such a wide region, it is currently listed as an endangered species. In fact, depending on the areas to which we refer, the state of the ocelot can go from being a minor concern to being in a state of serious threat. If you want to know more about this animal, as well as know why is the ocelot in danger of extinction, keep reading Green Ecologist and we will explain it to you.
The ocelot, whose scientific name is Leopardus pardalis, and which according to the region is also popularly known as jaguarcito, jaguatirica, manigordo, tigrillo or cunaguaro, It is the largest feline in America after the jaguar and the puma. It is considered a medium-sized feline, with a length that can range from 70 to 90 centimeters, and with a weight that is usually around 11 kilos. It has a short coat, which may be reminiscent of the leopard because of its brown color on the back and white on the belly, as well as the black mottling that covers most of its body.
It's about a carnivorous animal, which feeds on prey of all kinds of smaller or equal size than itself. In fact, in their natural habitat, in addition to the jaguar and the puma, the only other predators that can pose a threat to this animal are the boa and the harpy eagle, which usually attack young and easier to catch specimens.
One of the main characteristics that make the ocelot have had great success in its evolution has been its easy adaptability to multitude of terrains and habitats. In fact, this explains why its original geographic extent is so wide. At present, specimens can be found from the state of Texas to the southern regions of Brazil and Paraguay, as well as on the Caribbean coast of Mexico as well as Central America and the other South American countries that we find from Colombia to northern Argentina.
This is because, unlike other felines such as the jaguar or puma, due to its smaller size, it adapts very well to most ecosystems. This means that ocelots can be found both in environments such as the Amazon rainforest, such as in mountainous or semi-desert areas.
However, despite its high adaptability to different American ecosystems and its wide distribution throughout the geography of the continent, the ocelot is threatened nowadays. This is due to various causes, although, in all cases, human action is behind the decline in its population. Some of the main causes that the ocelot is in danger of extinction are as follows:
It is vital to protect animals in this bad situation, but if you have doubts about the reasons, we invite you to read this other article by Green Ecologist on Why it is important to protect animals in danger of extinction.
In this case, some of the measures we can take to protect endangered ocelots are:
If you want to read more articles similar to Why is the ocelot in danger of extinctionWe recommend that you enter our category of Endangered Animals.