Endangered Big Cats Caught On Wildlife Cameras!


Female ocelot with cub trailing.

The goal of Project Wildcat is to protect the estimated 80 jaguars left in Northern Sonora, Mexico. This endangered population is the last hope for the species’ reintroduction into the United States. Protecting these and other big cats is done in a number of ways, one of which is working with ranchers and landowners to sign agreements not to kill predators. Due to a decrease of inhabitable land, jaguars, ocelots, and other predators have resorted to attacking and eating local livestock to survive. As a result, ranchers began killing, trapping, poisoning, or shooting these cats to protect their livelihood. This was before they signed the no-kill agreements with in exchange for financial compensation if they do lose cattle, vaccines for cattle, and most important—training and resources to help them more effectively manage their cattle and keep them safe from danger.


Ocelot on the prowl.

Rancho Pueblo Viejos is the largest ranch involved in Project Wildcat. There are four wildlife cameras on the ranch. One of our field techs decided to move one of the camera positions to a nearby site for the last two-month period. After we reviewed the images, there were a number of ocelots (also known as the dwarf leopard). One was a female with a cub trailing. At least two of the other three images are of different individuals—so the camera caught four or five ocelots, including a breeding female! The ocelot is a rare animal only seen occasionally in Arizona. It is an endangered species in the United States. We now have images of these cats from 13 different camera sites. It is truly exciting that the Rio Bavispe population is so robust!


Leopardus pardalis-MJGalaz-G-22.8 km ESE Divisaderos-9Nov16-1a

Leopardus pardalis-MJGalaz-G-22.8 km ESE Divisaderos-9Nov16-2a

You can help us protect these endangered cats. Click here for more info.