Ocelot Conservation The ocelot is the best-known small cat of the Americas, largely for the beauty of its spotted coat. Ocelots are found in every country south of the United States except Chile, and a small population persists in South Texas. With the cessation of trapping for the fur trade, habitat loss is the major threat to ocelots today. Although they may be found in an incredible number of different habitats, including those that are disturbed or near human habitation, their long gestation and low litter size makes for a slow recovery from population decline. The ocelot is one of the five small cat species with which the Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) works on its Small Cat Signature Project. In addition to conducting zoo-based research on the reproductive biology of the ocelot, the Zoo also contributes to the study and protection of the endangered Texas ocelot.