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Researchers working to save endangered ocelots in the RGV

1 month 2 weeks 9 hours ago Friday, December 03 2021 Dec 3, 2021 December 03, 2021 8:33 PM December 03, 2021 in News - Local

The Valley's endangered ocelot population may have a fighting chance in the future.

There are fewer than 100 of them left in the Valley, and seven organizations are putting their resources together to study the possibility of expanding the cat's habitat.

The organizations say they need pristine land like the one at the El Sauz Ranch in Willacy County to make a difference.

"All around us is ocelot habitat," Dr. Ashley Reeves said of the areas where she's found and studied local ocelots over the last two years.

The Recover Texas Ocelots Project is underway now.

The first goal of the project is to locate ocelots using game cameras. Next, the team will temporarily trap and sedate ocelots to measure their health, DNA, and collect their sperm.

The next step would be to figure new places for where the ocelots could live.

Seven organizations are combining resources for this project, officially called “Developing and Assessing Strategies for Reintroducing Ocelots to Historical Texas Habitat.” 

Those groups are the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, East Foundation, the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Lindner Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife at the Cincinnati Zoo, the University of Tennessee Comparative and Experimental Medicine Program and Center for Wildlife Health, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For more information, visit recovertexasocelots.org.

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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