Image # 8056
Ocelots Slow INS Plans to Fortify Border
adult male portrait closeup Ocelots are endangered in Texas: less than a 100 are estimated to remain in the national wildlife refuges scattered throughout the Rio Grande Valley. In 1999, Defenders of Wildlife joined with other environmental groups to sue the INS - arguing that the agency was making it even more difficult for ocelots to survive in their already fragmented habitat by adding bright lights, paved roads and stepped up patrols along the US-Mexico border. Acknowledging that the agency had failed to seek public input as required under the National Environmental Policy Act, the INS recently agreed to complete an environmental impact statement. In the meantime, the agency has agreed to close 11 roads in the wildlife corrider and to curtail further development.
Update: A border fence - immune from environmental assessments - is scheduled to be erected in 2008 - posing new and serious danger to ocelots and other wildlife dependant upon the river corridor and its ebony forests.