Texas A&M University - Kingsville
Graduate Research Assistant/ Ph.D. in Wildlife Science/ Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute
Landscape Ecology of Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) in South Texas
I earned my masters studying gray foxes and the control of rabies in Arizona. I have spent my career working with controversial carnivores, endangered species, and furbearer species. My Ph.D. focuses on the ocelot in Texas and how roads impact their survival.
Wildlife across the globe are faced with landscapes that are becoming more difficult to move through due to habitat loss. Roadways are a major cause of habitat loss and have significant impacts on wildlife populations.
The ocelot is an endangered cat in the United States, with less than 80 individuals in southern Texas in and near the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV). The LRGV is one of the most rapidly developing urban areas in the US, which means an increase in traffic and number of roads crisscrossing the landscape. More traffic means more possibilities for ocelot-vehicle collisions.
I will develop a model to understand what resources ocelots are using and selecting for on the landscape and how roads influence the way ocelots are selecting for these resources. This information can be used to advise on the future placement of road crossings. These crossings aim to decrease ocelot-vehicle collisions and increase movement across the landscape for this endangered species.