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Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat


North, Central, and South America

  • 54.5oS-54.5o N latitude (Di Bitetti et al. 2008)
  • Northern most range
    • South Texas and Arizona
    • Recent surveys have identified 36 ocelots in mountainous regions of eastern Sonora, Mexico (Lopez Gonzalez et al. 2003)
  • Southern most range
    • Extends to northern Argentina
    • Present in all countries in between the northern and southern most ranges, except Chile
    • Presence in Uruguay uncertain (Caso et al. 2008)


Associated with dense cover (from De Oliveira et al. 2010)

  • Habitats include closed canopy and dense understory
    • All habitats occupied have well-structured vegetation cover (Emmons 1988) (Sunquist & Sunquist 2002)
    • Often the most abundant cat in regions where they occur
  • Also in human-influenced areas
    • Heavily logged, fragmented habitats
    • Early and late stage forest development
    • Outskirts of major cities and towns
    • Disturbed scrub/woodland savannah
    • Savannah with eucalyptus plantations and agricultural areas
  • Extreme loss of habitat in southern Texas
    • <0.5 % of ocelot habitat remains, due to human influence (Conover 2002)

Elevation range

  • 0-1,200 m (0-3,937 ft) (Sunquist & Sunquist 2009)

Climatic conditions

  • Rainfall
    • Lives in extremely dry to very wet regions (Di Bitetti et al. 2008)
      • Varies from 500-2600 mm/year (20-102 in/year)

Ocelot Distribution Map

Ocelot distribution map

Click here or on the map for a detailed distribution from IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Page Citations

Conover (2002)
Caso et al. (2008)
Di Bitetti et al. (2008)
De Oliveira et al. (2010)
Emmons (1988)
López González et al. (2003)
Sunquist & Sunquist (2002, 2009)

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