David Frederick, who retired after a 32-year career with U.S. Fish and Wildlife and is now a consultant and professional hunter, also filed a report based on a June visit to the ranch. He said there was suitable ocelot habitat and he found big cat tracks in dried mud along a drainage.
There may only be about 50 ocelots remaining in Texas.
Sonia Najera, a program manager with The Nature Conservancy in South Texas, said loss of habitat is one of the most significant issues facing ocelots. What habitat remains is more and more isolated and ocelots have to trek long distances, often crossing highways and road networks, she said.
"They will travel along drainages, fence rows that are wooded, wooded corridors," she said. "They do need cover. And it's not just ocelots, it's most wildlife in general."
Najera was not familiar with the Herradura Ranch or the lawsuit.
The Herradura Ranch offers luxurious multi-day guided hunting trips for white-tail deer, doves, quail, javelina, coyote and bobcat. Phone messages left there were not immediately returned.
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