Tunnels Being Built – for Ocelots
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Cameron County in South Texas, is building 12 underground corridors to protect endangered ocelots. The $8 million project will place the tunnels under two highways. The felines often travel throughout the county, to and from the Laguna Atascoa Wildlife Refuge, just north of Port Isabel.
This is not the first such crossing that TxDOT has spearheaded throughout the Lone Star State. According to a report detailing all Texas wildlife activities, the agency has installed culverts and tunnels for ocelots throughout South Texas.
The reason is that there are only 80 known ocelots in Texas. As such, federal state and local officials have been backing efforts to protect the rare felines. The UFWS estimates 40% of ocelots in the area are killed by traffic.
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