Defenders of Wildlife
1101 Fourteenth St.
Ocelots range in color from light yellow to reddish gray,
with dark spots and stripes. They have dark stripes on their cheeks and their
tailed have rings of dark fur.
Ocelots are 20 to 40 inches long. Their tails are an
additional ten to 15 inches. Ocelots weigh between 20 and 25 pounds.
An estimated 800,000 to 1.5 million are found
worldwide. 80 to 120 are found in two isolated populations in southeast Texas.
In captivity, ocelots can live 20 years while in the
wild they live seven to ten years.
Ocelots are currently found in extreme southern Texas.
They are also found in every country south of the United States except Chile.
Ocelots live in a variety of habitats, ranging from
mangrove forests, coastal marshes, savannah grasslands, pastures, thorn scrub
and tropical forests. All of these habitats provide only live in areas with
dense vegetative cover.
Ocelots are carnivores, they hunt and eat animals such as
rodents, rabbits, young deer, birds, snakes and fish.
Ocelots are nocturnal; they rest in trees or dense brush
during the day and are active at night. Ocelots are very active, traveling from
one to five miles per night. Males usually travel further than females.
Following a 79 to 85 day pregnancy, young are born in
litters of one to three. Kittens are independent after about one year, but may
stay with their mother for an additional year.
Habitat destruction for agriculture, hunting
for their fur, pet trade.
CITES* Appendix I, Endangered Species Act.
*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora, an international treaty with more than 144 member countries. Appendix I
listed species cannot be traded commercially. Appendix II listed species can be
traded commercially only if it does not harm their survival.