Arizona confirms first live ocelot sighting since 1960

Arizona officially documents a live ocelot–the first time since 1960. Hundreds of miles from the tiny TX population, it probably wandered in from Sonora.

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Arizona Gets its First Wild Ocelot

Sky Alliance 2008 ocelot pix

For the first time ever, an ocelot has been photographed living wild in Arizona, the Sky Island Alliance announced. This small, spotted cat was previously found only in the southern tip of Texas.

The picture was dates Nov. 9, but just physically picked up from a motion-activated wildlife camera last week in Cochise County. That’s in the southeast corner of Arizona. Geography buffs will notice that Arizona doesn’t even touch Texas. We’ve got 50 miles of New Mexico in between. “This record from Arizona places ocelots over 200 miles north in latitude from where they are found in Texas,” the Sky Alliance says. It looks like its also 200-plus miles west.

IUCN shows ocelots in NE Mexico only animalfiles show them in SE & NE Mexico

This ocelot may come from a population on the other coast of Mexico. Some rangemaps out there, like this one from theanimalfiles, show the ocelot living in both northeast and northwest, Mexico, but not in between. The preeminent international authority on animal species, the IUCN Red List, shows them only in the northeast and not even touching the United States. It would be a huge boon for diversity of the species if these two prongs of the population could meet up.

Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) are listed as endangered in both the U.S. and Mexico. They used to range up to Louisiana and Arkansas but were wiped out when farmers cleared out grasslands in the 1930s. Its other

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