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      Nature Report: Ocelot License Plate

      The remnant population of rare ocelots clinging to a precarious existence in deep South Texas recently received a boost with state approval of an ocelot license plate. Funds from the sale of the specialty plate, which will be available in four or five months, will go toward ocelot conservation in the Rio Grande Valley the last stronghold of the endangered cats in the United States where less than 50 of the secretive felines are estimated to survive. Dr. Tom deMaar, chief veterinarian at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, has been working closely with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to save the ocelot, and as president of the Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge was instrumental in seeing the ocelot specialty plate become a reality. Dr. Tom deMaar, President of the Friends of Laguna Atascosa, "The license plate will cost $30 and of that $30|$22 will go to support ocelot conservation in South Texas." In addition to generating vital funding for ocelot conservation, the specialty license plate will also help raise the profile of the critically endangered cat. But you don't have to wait for your ocelot license late to help with conservation efforts as you are invited to become a member of the Friends Group right now. "We have a website, which is www.friendsofsouthtexasrefuges.org, you can look it up send us a message if you are interested in being a board member or go to Laguna Atascosa and talk to the people at the book store and they can get you in contact with us." With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore