name: Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus,
Common name: Ocelot (Jaguatirica)
Behavior: mainly nocturnal but also diurnal, terrestrial,
Habitat: savanna, dry shrubland,
savanna wetland, but mainly tropical and subtropical forests (including
Diet: Essentially carnivore.
The most common prey are small vertebrates, like rodents, birds
and lizards, but ocelots can also feed on larger mammals.
Geographic distribution: from
the southeast of Texas and the west of Mexico to the north of Argentina
(except the Andes). In Brazil, ocelots occur throughout the territory,
with the exception of the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Breeding: gestation period is
70 to 85 days, average litter is 2 (1-4). Sexual maturity is achieved
between 18 and 22 months in females and around 30 months in males.
Description: A medium sized species,
averaging in length from 67 to 100cm, with a relatively short tail
(30 to 44cm, 46% of body length). The average weight is around 11kg
(8-15kg). The body is slim, though the head and paws are big. The
fur is short and thick, overall light yellow, but whitish in the
ventral area. Hairs in head and neck are thrust froward. Dark rosettes
appear laterally beginning on the ventral side and merge into stripes
in the limbs proximal area. In the dorsal side, the spots merge
into lines that go from the top of the skull to the tail insertion
point. Dark spots tend to form open rosettes that coalesce into
longitudinal stripes on the side. Young calves are very similar
to Leopardus wiedii.
Status: On IBAMA’s Official
List of Endangered Brazilian Mammals, CITES appendix II.
Main Threats: In the past, ocelots
were much sought for the fur market. Currently, habitat destruction
is one of the main threats.