Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jaguars, Jaguarundi and Ocelots Just South of Texas

© 2009 Ed Thomas and
Wild Ed's Texas Outdoors

Jaguars, Ocelots, Margays, Jaguarundi, Cougars and Bobcats are some of my favorite animals. I have seen a lot of bobcats but only two cougars and none of the other cats in the wild in my lifetime. I have seen all of the others in captivity and would love to catch a glimpse of one in the wild someday. Each time I see any wild cat in nature it is a special moment and one I hope each of you will have some day if you have not yet observed a cat in the wild. I have always hoped that someday the more exotic cats would be restored to their native habitat in Texas. Of course much of that habitat no longer exists due to population growth and man changing the land for cattle and crops. That is one reason it is so important to preserve what small amounts of habitat we have left in this State that will sustain populations of these cats. The Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute has discovered and is studying a remote population of wild cats including some of the more exotic, in their wild habitat. What is so amazing about this study is it is taking place only 150 miles south of Brownsville, Texas. It gives one hope that maybe these cats will move north and repopulate their former habitat such as the Black Bear has done in the Texas Trans Pecos and Big Bend country. If not you and I maybe some day our children or grand children will again be able to see the exotic cats on a regular basis in Texas. Enjoy the following YouTube video about the study in Mexico. Hope you see some spots in the future, Wild Ed

You may want to scroll to the bottom of the page and pause the music before watching the video.

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native said...

Thanks for sharing that video Wild Ed,
Very enjoyable.

Once, while hiking around in the Joshua Tree area here in California, I found cat tracks much too large to be from a Puma or Mt. Lion.
Later on that evening I saw what was making those tracks, a large Jaguar!!

No one believed me until I took one of the rangers to the tracks and showed him, he politely asked me to please be discreet about my find.

That was about 20 years ago and I finally had to get it said out loud. We humans just can't seem to keep a secret for too long without spillin' the beans can we?

Wild Ed said...

What an experience. I can still remember the first Bobcat I saw in the wild and will always remember the Cougar I saw in the Texas Big Bend Country. I hope to see some more before I leave this life. Thanks for telling us of the experience.

native said...

You should come out to pay us a visit Wild Ed, we have lots of Mt. Lions due to the moratorium here in California, which has facilitated their come back 100 fold.

We see them on a regular basis out at the ranches, I would estimate about 10 - 12 a year.

tipper said...

Very Interesting post. I've seen bobcats several times-and one time when I was a child my father and I saw a cougar/mountain lion on a mountain about 50 miles from here-I live in western NC. I hope you can once again see the cats that are native to your area.