July 28, 2010

Ocelots and Jaguars Moving North

The known ranges of South and Middle American cats are changing. Trailcams are proving it.

Recent records of the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) are indicating they are being newly seen in northern Mexico and in Arizona. There is evidence that they are extending their range much farther north than in past years.

Remote cameras captured the image of an ocelot, a rare tropical cat, in Cochise County, Arizona. Sky Island Alliance, a Tucson-based regional conservation organization, recently photographed the cat while participating in the Witness for Wildlife program, which is supported by the Freedom to Roam Coalition and Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company.

Sky Island Alliance sets remote cameras to unobtrusively observe wildlife and assess wildlife corridors in Arizona’s Sky Island region. Last week, volunteer citizen naturalists participating in the Witness for Wildlife program retrieved images from one of the remote cameras in Cochise County. The image of the ocelot was dated November 7, 2009.

Taken by a remote camera, this remarkable photograph is the first verifiable record of this elusive wild feline alive in Arizona. Although a small number of ocelots live in south Texas, ocelots have never before been recorded alive in Arizona. Additionally, this record from Arizona places ocelots over 200 miles north in latitude from where they are found in Texas.

Sources: Sky Alliance, Backpacker, and Cleanest Line.

Ocelot in the snow, Sonora, Mexico.

Furthermore, jaguar (Panthera onca) sightings in northern Mexico are occurring too (credit Sky Island Alliance).

A collared jaguar nicknamed Macho B is seen in this February 2009 photo provided by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. On Feb. 18, 2009, Macho B, who has been documented by tracking cameras since 1996, was inadvertently snared by an Arizona Game and Fish Department trap. The jaguar later died in another trapping incident. (Photo: Arizona Game and Fish Department)

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

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