Target: Governor Rick Perry
Goal: Promote and protect the threatened ocelot in Texas
There are only 50 ocelots remaining in Texas. While many of their species remain in Central and Southern America, their numbers in the United States are severely decimated. If these cats are going to survive, local and national citizens must be educated on the animal’s plight and Texan farmers need to be given incentives to help preserve the ocelot habitat.
Ocelots are a rare species of big cat found in the southern part of the United States. They have silky spotted fur and live up to 20 years. Unfortunately, they are dying off due to habitat loss and vehicular collisions. These species are under heavy observation by biologists and many are praying that recent actions will help the ocelot survive.
Six of the 14 cats that were radio collared by a team of biologists by the Fish and Wildlife Service were killed in car accidents. To curb these deaths, the Texas Department for Transportation will install the state’s first wildlife crossing. These crossings will enable animals to navigate past highways without risking injury. Eight underpasses are being constructed at a highway known for ocelot crossings. Previous projects, such as the Alligator Alley, have been proven successful and biologists are hoping this venture will be as well.
However, the biggest threat to the ocelot is habitat loss. While lives can be saved through the construction of new wildlife crossings, if these ocelots have no place to live, they will simply die off. One of the proposed solutions is providing incentives to Texan farmers that would reward the farmers for allowing ocelots to live on their land. A majority of Texas land is owned by private farmers, so if Governor Rick Perry were to draw up incentives then it would boost the survivability rate of these cats.
Please sign the petition below to ensure the ocelot’s survival in the United States. It is because of humans that so few of these cats are currently living in America, but with the support of state government and local farmers, we can help reestablish the ocelot population.
Dear Governor Perry,
The ocelot is a graceful, sleek, and gorgeous cat, but their numbers in the United States are at a dangerously low level. With only 50 of them currently living in Texas, it is time for drastic action. Otherwise, these cats may be forever lost in the United States.
I am writing to ask you to provide incentives to Texan farmers. The majority of land in Texas is owned by private farmers, but this land is also crucial habitat that can be used by the ocelot. Humans should learn to share the environment with the surrounding wildlife, as they too deserve to live. Please promote the ocelot’s plight and ensure that a habitat is being provided so they may reestablish their population.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ana_Cotta via Flickr