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Post Info TOPIC: Jaguarundi on Conroe


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Jaguarundi on Conroe


Was up in the creek just north of Peach yesterday and saw what looked like a big otter (on the bank) trying to catch a grey heron. After the bird escaped, I saw that it was a wild cat. The cat looked at me (as if his miss was somehow my fault), and then disappeared into the thicket. After researching, I think that the cat I saw was a jaguarundi...native to Texas, but very rare.

Last fall while fishing up in the river area, Jason and I witnessed a big bobcat fall into the lake after missing a lunge on a squirrel.

It's been an interesting couple of months for me up in the National Forest.



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Where Are All of the Carp?


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I have seen some pretty cool things while on the water. I have heard of Ocelots being spotted on Fayette Co Lake. I have witnessed some large cats over there, one of which dove in and got a comarant. The same day on the opposite side of the lake I watched a cat walk down and drink that seemed to be as big as a lab.



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"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after."


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That would be a spectacular find, Ron. Jaguarundis are incredibly rare in Texas, even in the Lower Rio Grande Valley where the possibility is highest, sightings are very rare. Most reports turn out to be large feral cats. Historically, as a neotropic/tropic cat, Jaguarundis ranged from South Texas into SE Arizona. It has been on the Endangered Species List since 1976 but nothing has been done to help ensure it's survival in the US something I worked to change when I lived in the LRGV. The proposed border wall could spell the end to any possible recovery of this species here.

On the flip side, your description of it being "otter-like" sounds in line with what a Jaguarundi looks like. And though they are adverse to cold weather crazier things have happened. We are seeing warm weather bird species showing up further north than their historic ranges due to climate change.

Anyway, whenever you are out it's always a good idea to have a camera handy. Even a cell phone could end up taking a usable photo to ID a critter. Two weeks ago I spotted a rare bird on Fayette County but had not camera nor phone. It turned out the bird was rare in this region of Texas, normally found out in West Texas. I could have used a photo to support the find since I ended up having to write up a description of the bird to be "accepted" as a valid record. [Luckily, the reviewer knows me personally. :) ]

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Bill Tarbox



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Wow... Ron, like Bill said, there have been a few confirmed sightings of these cats over the last few years but most of them have been in South Texas (Big Bend area) and a few sightings just South of San Antonio. I have heard of a few sightings as far north as the hill country/ Austin metro area but I never heard if they were confirmed. I read an article late last year that seemed to indicate that sporadic sightings of Jagurundis might be what people see and report as a "black panther." My family has property near Ledbetter (east of Giddings), and a guy at the hardware store in town swears he saw one just north of Giddings near the town of Lincolin. My aunt has a place out there too and she got a picture of a large dark colored cat near their deer feeder on a game camera. It's hard to tell the size based on the photo so I can't tell if it is or isn't. It's plausible that the guy at the hardware store was right, because in the 1980's there was a small effort to re-establish these cats to their native range and there were a few relocated to Bastrop and Caldwell counties- these two counties are just to the west and south-west of Giddings which is in Lee county. I've never seen one, but I have seen several bobcat on our place. I can say that in the right lighting conditions a bobcat can look fairly dark. I've seen a bobcat eating a rat in person, and my cousin got a shot of one on his game camera by his deer feeder carrying either a small rabbit or medium sized squirrel across the field.

If what you saw had a head like an otter with cat like ears and a long tail, then you might very well have seen one.

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