Leopardus pardalis - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Ocelot
Other English Common Names: ocelot
Other Common Names: Jaguatirica
Synonym(s): Felis pardalis
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 552470)
Spanish Common Names: Tigrillo, Ocelote
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104046
Element Code: AMAJH05010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Carnivores
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Carnivora Felidae Leopardus
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Jones, C., R. S. Hoffman, D. W. Rice, M. D. Engstrom, R. D. Bradley, D. J. Schmidly, C. A. Jones, and R. J. Baker. 1997. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 1997. Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University 173:1-20.
Concept Reference Code: B97JON01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Leopardus pardalis
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly included in the genus Felis. Included in the genus Leopardus by Wozencraft (in Wilson and Reeder 1993), Murray and Gardner (1997), and Jones et al. (1997).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 19Nov1996
Global Status Last Changed: 19Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Widely distributed from Texas to South America; populations are reduced and/or declining in many areas, though good data are scant; threatened by continued destruction of suitable habitat, exploitation for fur, and predator control.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1 (05Sep1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Arizona (S1), Arkansas (SX), Louisiana (SX), Texas (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (21Jul1982)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R2 - Southwest
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix I

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Historical range: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Arizona south through Mexico, Central America, and South America to eastern Peru, eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and northern Argentina. Occurs in the mountains of Colombia, Ecuador, and northern Peru, but not on the high plateaus of southern Peru and Bolivia (Kitchener 1991); recently recorded in Uruguay (see Kitchener 1991); to elevations of 1000 m. In the U.S., currently found regularly only in southern Texas (e.g., Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, site of a recent radiotelemetry study). Occurrence in Arizona is based only on a few old records from the vicinity of Fort Verde and Patagonia (Hoffmeister 1986); documentation for these records is less than ideal.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: Fewer than 1000 individuals of subspecies ALBESCENS (Texas and adjacent northeastern Mexico to southern Tamaulipas) are thought to survive (Nowak 1991); 100-130 individuals in Texas according to Caesar Kleberg Institute, 1983. Unknown numbers elsewhere.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Clearing of brush for agricultural purposes has been a problem in the northern part of the range. Has declined throughout much of Central and South American range, due to hunting for fur (now curtailed compared to previous large harvests), predator control, and habitat loss.

Short-term Trend Comments: USFWS (1990) categorized the status as "stable."

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Estimates on abundance and current range.

Protection Needs: Protect suitable habitat from degradation. U.S.: continue, as needed, habitat restoration at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Texas.

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Historical range: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Arizona south through Mexico, Central America, and South America to eastern Peru, eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and northern Argentina. Occurs in the mountains of Colombia, Ecuador, and northern Peru, but not on the high plateaus of southern Peru and Bolivia (Kitchener 1991); recently recorded in Uruguay (see Kitchener 1991); to elevations of 1000 m. In the U.S., currently found regularly only in southern Texas (e.g., Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, site of a recent radiotelemetry study). Occurrence in Arizona is based only on a few old records from the vicinity of Fort Verde and Patagonia (Hoffmeister 1986); documentation for these records is less than ideal.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ARextirpated, AZ, LAextirpated, TX

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; Sechrest, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Cochise (04003), Pima (04019), Pinal (04021), Santa Cruz (04023)
TX Cameron (48061), Dimmit (48127), Hidalgo (48215), Kenedy (48261), Kinney (48271), Maverick (48323), Willacy (48489)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
12 Upper Nueces (12110103)+, Turkey (12110104)+, Baffin Bay (12110205)+, Palo Blanco (12110206)+, Central Laguna Madre (12110207)+, South Laguna Madre (12110208)+
13 Elm-Sycamore (13080001)+, San Ambrosia-Santa Isabel (13080002)+, Lower Rio Grande (13090002)+
15 Middle Gila (15050100)+, Upper San Pedro (15050202)+, Upper Santa Cruz (15050301)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A cat (ocelot).
General Description: A small spotted cat with a long tail; ground color ranges from whitish or tawny yellow to reddish gray and gray; dark markings form chainlike streaks, generally forming black-bordered elongated spots, which run obliquely down the sides; adult total length 92-137 cm, tail length 27-40 cm; mass 11-16 kg; greatest length of skull of adults, 120-158 mm (Hall 1981, Nowak 1991).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Differs from the jaguar in much smaller size (jaguar is 157-242 cm in total length) and pelage spots not forming distinct rosettes. Differs from FELIS WIEDII and F. TIGRINA in being larger (hind foot longer than 145 mm vs. shorter, greatest length of skull more than 120 mm vs. shorter, length of P4 more than 12.7 mm vs. shorter) (Hall 1981). Differs from young mountain lion in having spots arranged in rows or in a chainlike pattern.
Reproduction Comments: Texas: breeds in late summer. Births occur in fall and winter in Texas and Mexico (Leopold 1959). Tropics: breeds year-round. Gestation lasts about 70 days. Litter size is 2-4 (usually 2).
Ecology Comments: Population density in Costa Rica was estimated at 14-25/100 sq km (Kitchener 1991). In Brazil, Trolle and Kery (2003) used capture-recapture analysis of camera-trapping data to estimate density at 2.82 independent individuals per 5 sq km.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Home range in Texas reportedly is a few square kilometers (Kitchener 1991). In Peru, adult females occupied exclusive home ranges of about 2 sq km; male ranges were several times larger, exclusive of those of other males, and overlapped multiple female ranges; individuals often were solitary but appeared to make contact with others frequently (Emmons 1988).
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Hardwood
Special Habitat Factors: Standing snag/hollow tree
Habitat Comments: Habitats with good cover; when active by day, tends to keep hidden in dense brush (Emmons and Feer 1990). Inhabits dense chaparral thickets in Texas. Elsewhere, occurs in humid tropical forests, mangrove forests, swampy savannas, brushland, and riverine scrub in deserts. Where not hunted, adapts well to disturbed habitats around villages; often uses man-made trails (Emmons and Feer 1990). Mainly terrestrial but climbs, jumps, and swims well (Nowak 1991). Dens are in caves, hollow trees, thickets, or the spaces between the closed buttress roots of large trees; rarely climbs but sometimes may sleep on tree branch.
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore
Food Comments: Feeds on various small to moderate-sized vertebrates: rodents, rabbits, and other small mammals; young deer and peccaries; birds (sometimes including domestic poultry); snakes; lizards; fishes; etc. Hunts and captures prey on the ground (Emmons and Feer 1990).
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Crepuscular, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Nocturnal and diurnal; mainly nocturnal (Emmons and Feer 1990).
Length: 125 centimeters
Weight: 14000 grams
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Formerly intensively hunted for the skin trade, prior to recent restrictions on trade and changes in socially acceptable clothing styles. Reported to be much in demand for use as a pet, a live animal selling for $800 (Nowak 1991).
Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Determine home range area and food habits.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: None.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Occurrences generally should be based on major occupied physiographic or ecogeographic units that are separated along areas of relatively low ocelot density or use. These units may be based on available ocelot sightings/records or on movements of radio-tagged individuals, or they may be based on the subjective determinations by biologists familiar with ocelots and their habitats. Where occupied habitat is exceptionally extensive and continuous, that habitat may be subdivided into multiple contiguous occurrences as long as that does not reduce the occurrence rank (i.e., do not split up an A occurrence into multiple occurrences that would be ranked less than A).
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 2.5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based conservatively on a male home range of 5 square kilometers.
Date: 19Oct2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 05Apr2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Mabee, T., and G. Hammerson
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 16Oct2003
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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