RIO HONDO, Texas — The threat traffic poses to endangered ocelots is prompting federal officials to close a popular road in a South Texas wildlife refuge.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to close to private vehicles Bayside Drive through the southern portion of the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Oct. 15.
Refuge Manager Boyd Blihovde tells the Valley Morning Star (http://bit.ly/15iOQdm) of Harlingen the road is closing after traffic killed two of the endangered wildcats in recent years. The most recent was a lactating female four years ago. Her kittens were never found.
Visitors will be able to walk and bicycle the drive in daytime, and open-air tram and shuttle bus tours will remain available.
About 50 ocelots are known to remain in the United States, including 13 in the refuge.