Surge in Texas Ocelot Deaths

Sad news from South Texas: the past year has seen a surge in ocelots dying on roads. Can underpasses help. My blog on the news released by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service yesterday.

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6 Comments on “Surge in Texas Ocelot Deaths”

  1. tomeslice Says:

    This is indeed sad, but it could have a few explanations:
    1. Drivers in Texas are less careful this year
    2. Ocelots in Texas come near the roads more and become roadkills
    3. There’s a dramatic increase in the number of Ocelots in Texas, and therefore we see more ocelot road kills..

    I’d like to think it’s the 3rd option, which is happy. But of course this happiness is off-banced by many of them dying on the roads.

    • vdinets Says:

      The most likely explanation is that ocelots move around more, probably due to low rodent numbers, unusual weather, or both.

    • tomeslice Says:

      There’s also a 4th option which I just thought of, which is not happy either:
      4. There is substantially more traffic nowadays in that part of Texas and therefore more cats are getting ran over 😦

  2. mattinidaho Says:

    Good points Tomer. Dispersing males account for most of the deaths. That said,there has been a huge increase in traffic in that area in the past few years. I visited this area 2 years ago, and the growth, border issues, etc are just staggering. It was hard to get my head around it all. And all this amidst incredible wildlife/biodiversity.

  3. Alan D Says:

    We volunteer for a local organization that spearheaded the movement for both a wildlife bridge and under crossing across a nearby major road. The results so far have been excellent and we are now monitoring cameras to gather data to propose another crossing over I10 which is the freeway between Phoenix and Tucson. Hopefully, they see similar positive results in TX.

    I think these wildlife bridges and under crossings are the best way to reduce roadkill and damage to people and cars. It’s really a win-win.

    For more information on the Tucson crossings see http://www.sonorandesert.org/.

    Alan D

    • mattinidaho Says:

      That’s a great project. Thanks for sharing, Alan. Wildlife crossings can be very effective. They need to be part of road improvement plans. It is easier to add them when construction is underway rather than retrofitting existing roads.


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