Well, it’s not much to see, but the Sky Island Alliance released the 2009 ocelot picture from Cochise county.
Sky Island Alliance recently announced that in partnership with Patagonia and Freedom to Roam, volunteers retrieved the image of an ocelot inCochise County, Arizona. The photograph, dated November 7, 2009, was snapped with a remote sensing camera located only 40 miles north of the international border. Today, Sky Island Alliance released the original ocelot photo.
Eugene and Bernice Isaacs, long-time Sky Island Alliance volunteers,checked the remote camera through the Witness for Wildlife projectand immediately recognized the ocelot photograph for what it was. Seeing the image for the first time “was a real eureka moment” saidEugene. “It means our wild lands are still wild and healing.”
“The feline in the photo shows the rosettes and distinctive stripes along the neck that differentiate ocelots from other medium-sized cats, in addition to a long tail,” said Sky Island Alliance biologist Sergio Avila. “Gender and age cannot be determined due to motion blur; however photographs of other known species in the same location (skunk, deer and bobcat) helped us compare body proportions and size.”
Since 2007, Sky Island Alliance has documented ocelots 30 miles south of the international border, in Sonora. Jessica Lamberton, a biologist coordinating Sky Island Alliance’s wildlife linkages program, stated “This ocelot documentation is important because it proves that Arizona’s wild lands sustain sensitive species, and that some wildlife corridors still allow the free movements of species that have occupied this region historically.”
Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) are medium-sized tropical cats with long tails and agile bodies, weighing about 20 to 35 pounds. Their tan-brown fur is darkly spotted with distinguishing parallel black stripes on the forehead, neck and shoulder. Ocelots hunt mostly at night and eat small rodents, birds and lizards. The ocelot was listed in the U.S. as a federally endangered species in 1982.
>> Questions? Contact Jessica Lamberton: firstname.lastname@example.org, 520-624-7080 x21
Ocelot sightings should be reported to the Arizona Game and Fish Department for follow up. Documentation of any species is usually required to include verified DNA analysis or photographic evidence.