USFWS: Monitoring Ocelots in Tamaulipas Mexico

In 2012, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service entered into a binational partnership with the Civil Society for the Conservancy and Development of Natural Areas (CDEN), Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Gladys Porter Zoo, and (in 2013) the San Antonio Zoo. This partnership was formed to locate a large population of ocelots in northern Tamaulipas, Mexico, to assess if it might be able to serve as a potential source for translocation to smaller, at-risk populations such as the ones located in south Texas.

Ocelots are endangered in the Texas mostly due to a loss of their habitat, most of which occurred from the 1930′s to the 1960′s.  Collisions with vehicles also pose a threat.  While both of these issues are being countered with efforts in Texas, the looming threat of a significant loss of their genetic diversity, that occurred over a long period of time, needs to be addressed.  Studies suggested that the most appropriate source for re-establishing the historic genetic diversity of ocelots in Texas would be from the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, and translocation of wild ocelots has been suggested as an option to achieve this goal…

(read more: Southwest Natural Resources Inventory & Monitoring)

Leopard Loves Men’s Body Spray

Reno the leopard loves men’s body spray and can’t get enough of the smell! We use many different perfumes and sprays to add to enrichment items the cats love to play with and destroy! :)

BIG CAT TV is a close look into our day-to-day operations, the conservation efforts we support, and the 100+ feline residents of “Big Cat Rescue” in Tampa, FL. USA. Big Cat Rescue is an educational non-breeding sanctuary and a registered non-profit 501c3 so your donations are tax deductible!

http://bigcatrescue.org

Zoo Enrichment: Fishing Cat Kitten Learns to Fish

To some animals, ZooEnrichment means testing one’s survival skills. For the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) kitten born April 15, it means learning how to fish! A patient mother, Electra watches her kitten as it wades and pounces on some unsuspecting goldfish. This six-week-old kitten just began its lessons. By the time it turns 11-12 weeks, it will be able to fish as well as mom!

(via: Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

It’s the lion of long leap: Amazing moment predator catches an antelope in mid-air 
by Simon Tomlinson
A soaring lion leaps from a ridge to catch a fleeing antelope in mid air.
The extraordinary take-down happened after a pair of lionesses surprised two blesboks running in their direction.
To escape, a frightened blesbok jumped several metres from the ridge - only to be intercepted mid-flight by the hungry female…
(read more/see video: Daily Mail)

It’s the lion of long leap: Amazing moment predator catches an antelope in mid-air 

by Simon Tomlinson

A soaring lion leaps from a ridge to catch a fleeing antelope in mid air.

The extraordinary take-down happened after a pair of lionesses surprised two blesboks running in their direction.

To escape, a frightened blesbok jumped several metres from the ridge - only to be intercepted mid-flight by the hungry female…

(read more/see video: Daily Mail)

New Ocelot Found at Laguna Atascosa NWR, TX
Found at Laguna Atascosa Refuge in Texas, another healthy young ocelot. The April 27 discovery raises the known refuge population of the endangered wildcats to 12. “It’s very exciting,” says refuge wildlife biologist Hilary Swarts, who examined OM290 (ocelot male 290) and tagged him.
Photo: USFWS
(via: USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System)

New Ocelot Found at Laguna Atascosa NWR, TX

Found at Laguna Atascosa Refuge in Texas, another healthy young ocelot. The April 27 discovery raises the known refuge population of the endangered wildcats to 12. “It’s very exciting,” says refuge wildlife biologist Hilary Swarts, who examined OM290 (ocelot male 290) and tagged him.

Photo: USFWS

(via: USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System)

BABY KITTEN REPORT!!!

Palawan Bengal Cats Are First of Berlin Zoo’s Breeding Program

Meet Ilian and Taytay, two Palawan Bengal Cats recently born at Berlin Zoo in Germany! These two kittens, a male and a female, are the first offspring of Berlin Zoo’s breeding program for this Vulnerable subspecies, which is only found on the Philippine island of Palawan…

Learn more: ZooBorns

Trying to explain more about largely unseen bobcats in the Dallas-Fort Worth (TX) area
by Ray Sasser
Derek Broman has a passion for wild carnivores. You can hear it when he talks about bobcats. He studied bobcats in Iowa, Connecticut and New Hampshire for his master’s degree.
In Texas just 15 months, Broman is heading up a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department urban bobcat study in conjunction with Utah State University, the National Wildlife Research Center and the Welder Wildlife Foundation.
The study area covers 49,000 acres of urban and suburban sprawl — parts of Arlington, Hurst and Fort Worth. According to the 2010 census, the study area had 229,674 people and 103,475 housing units. The number of bobcats is yet to be determined.
Bobcats are successful in dwindling habitat because of their secretive, nonconfrontational nature, Broman said. Bobcats are, by far, the most common wild cats in North America, yet few people have ever seen one…
(read more: Dallas Morning News)
image: USDA Wildlife Service

Trying to explain more about largely unseen bobcats in the Dallas-Fort Worth (TX) area

by Ray Sasser

Derek Broman has a passion for wild carnivores. You can hear it when he talks about bobcats. He studied bobcats in Iowa, Connecticut and New Hampshire for his master’s degree.

In Texas just 15 months, Broman is heading up a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department urban bobcat study in conjunction with Utah State University, the National Wildlife Research Center and the Welder Wildlife Foundation.

The study area covers 49,000 acres of urban and suburban sprawl — parts of Arlington, Hurst and Fort Worth. According to the 2010 census, the study area had 229,674 people and 103,475 housing units. The number of bobcats is yet to be determined.

Bobcats are successful in dwindling habitat because of their secretive, nonconfrontational nature, Broman said. Bobcats are, by far, the most common wild cats in North America, yet few people have ever seen one…

(read more: Dallas Morning News)

image: USDA Wildlife Service

Cougars’ diverse diet helped species during ice age

by Dena Headly

Cougars may have survived mass extinction 12,000 years ago by not being picky about what they ate. A National Science Foundation-funded research team from Vanderbilt University and the University of Wyoming discovered that cougars had a more diverse diet and often killed and fully consumed their prey, more so than the large American lions and saber-tooth cats that went extinct during the Pleistocene period.

Studying 50 fossil teeth of modern cougars, the team compared them with their more finicky cousins—the saber-tooth cats and American lions, excavated from the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles. They then compared these teeth with specimens of modern hyenas, cheetahs and African lions. 

Utilizing a new technique called dental microwear texture analysis, the team found significantly greater variation among individual cougars than the other large cats that went extinct. Some were finicky eaters like cheetahs. Others had wear patterns closer to modern hyenas, consuming almost the entire body of their prey, bones included. The team says this suggests that the Pleistocene cougars had a more generalized dietary behavior. 

While six species of large cats roamed North America during the ice age, only the cougar and the jaguar survived.

(via: National Science Foundation)

BIG CAT RESCUE:  Big Cat Playtime!

Cameron the male African Lion and Zabu the female white tiger love each other very much and love “playtime” where they can be very goofy big cats!

Learn more about Big Cat Rescue’s “odd couple” - watch their video bio here: Youtube

* We do not breed our cats at the sanctuary for life in a cage, Cameron was given a vasectomy and Zabu was spayed to prevent them from breeding and producing ligers. You can read more about ligers here: BCR - Ligers

WEBSITE: http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Trouble for Panthers in Florida

Attempts are being made in Florida to place a disposal well for oil and gas waste right next door to the only refuge for Florida’s last 100 panthers AND close to drinking water supplies. This kind of poorly regulated toxic dumping ground would pose a serious threat to both panthers and people.

More here: EPA should protect the endangered Florida panther, not oil and gas profits

* NRDC BioGems Defenders take collective action to protect wildlife and our last wild places. Join us by liking us at www.facebook.com/BioGemsDefenders

Scientists Discover Majestic New Cat Species (Well… Subspecies) in Nepal
by Stephen Messenger
Researchers studying snow leopard populations high in the Himalayas have announced the accidental discovery of a cat previously unknown to Nepal — a majestic little cat that’s at home in the highest mountain range on Earth.
The small feline, about the same size as a domestic house cat, was caught on film by various camera traps between 13,000 and 15,000 feet above sea level. On 11 occasions between 2012 and 2013, the cat was spotted prowling the rocky mountainside at night in search of food…
(read more: TheDodo.com)

Scientists Discover Majestic New Cat Species (Well… Subspecies) in Nepal

by Stephen Messenger

Researchers studying snow leopard populations high in the Himalayas have announced the accidental discovery of a cat previously unknown to Nepal — a majestic little cat that’s at home in the highest mountain range on Earth.

The small feline, about the same size as a domestic house cat, was caught on film by various camera traps between 13,000 and 15,000 feet above sea level. On 11 occasions between 2012 and 2013, the cat was spotted prowling the rocky mountainside at night in search of food…

(read more: TheDodo.com)

Big Cat Rescue:  Wild Cats vs. Toilet Paper

Do wild species of cats (servals/bobcats/lynx/ocelots) like to destroy toilet paper like their domestic cousins?

BIG CAT TV is a close look into our day-to-day operations, the conservation efforts we support, and the 100+ feline residents of “Big Cat Rescue” in Tampa, FL. USA. Big Cat Rescue is an educational non-breeding sanctuary and a registered non-profit 501c3 so your donations are tax deductible!

Website: http://bigcatrescue.org

* same

Mystery big cat skulls from the Peruvian Amazon not so mysterious anymore

by Darren Naish

Long-time Tet Zoo readers with exceptionally good memories might recall the ver 2 article – pu­­­­­­blished way back in June 2007 – in which I asked that most vexing of questions: “Peter Hocking’s big cats: where are you now?”. As you’ll know if you recall that article, or if you know a reasonable amount about South American mammalogy or cryptozoology, back in 1996, Peruvian ornithologist Peter Hocking announced the procurement of two skulls belonging to pantherine cats, suggested by him to represent two of the ‘mystery’ cats said by local people to inhabit the forested highlands of Peru’s Pasco Province.

Hocking – perhaps best known in the world of zoology for the several bird species he has to his name – has long been collecting anecdotes from indigenous Peruvians about mystery animals: animals that don’t seem to match those known to scientists and which might represent undiscovered taxa (Hocking 1992, 1996, Greenwell 1994). Among these is the so-called ‘striped tiger’, a reddish, jaguar-sized cat marked with white, unbranched stripes. Its paradoxical name results from the fact that ‘el tigre’ is the name used across much of South America for Panthera onca, the Jaguar. In other words, it’s meant to be a ‘Striped jaguar’. We opted to use the name ‘Peruvian tiger’ for this alleged animal.

Then there’s a second, Jaguar-like big cat, said to have solid black irregular spots, not rosettes like a Jaguar. We use the term ‘Anomalous jaguar’ for this animal. The adjacent illustration by Peter Visccher – produced to accompany an article by the late cryptozoologist Richard Greenwell – shows the Peruvian tiger and Anomalous jaguar together with a few other Peruvian mystery animals reported by Hocking (Greenwell 1994), though the illustration errs in giving the ‘Peruvian tiger’ dark stripes rather than white ones. The big black cat included in the scene is the ‘Yana puma’, an animal that might not be a cat after all, but a local name for the Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus.

Old news now is that Hocking managed to get hold of skulls said to belong to both the ‘Peruvian tiger’ and ‘Anomalous jaguar’. Preliminary observations on the anatomy and proportions of these skulls indicated that both were different from those of Jaguars…

(read more: Tetrapod Zoology - Scientific American)

images: Gustavo Sanchez, Greenwell (1994), and Peter Hocking

Refuge Officials Say Discovery of baby Ocelot ‘Hugely Important’

by Melissa Montoya, The Brownsville Herald

As Sihil, an ocelot from the Cincinnati Zoo, was traveling through South Texas last week, rangers at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge made their own discovery: an ocelot kitten, and it could be a female. 

The kitten, estimated to be 3 to 5 months of age, was first seen by rangers last week but it was photographed by a remote trail camera on Valentine’s Day, said Hilary Swarts, wildlife biologist at the refuge.

Ocelots live mostly in South and Central America, but small populations have reached as far north as the Rio Grande Valley.

Swarts estimated that with the sighting the local population of small cats was 12. Each cat has a distinctive pattern of spots, and the one on the kitten was never seen before, she said…

(read more: Brownsville Herald)

photos: USFWS - Laguna Atascosa NWR