By Dan Shapley
Depending on the political expert you consult, a 700-mile fence may or may not stop illegal immigrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexican border, but that fence would almost certainly impede cross-border ocelot traffic. What's the big deal? Ocelot are critically endangered, with fewer than 100 living in the wilds of the southwest United States, and ensuring unobstructed habitat is a key strategy for trying to save the species. The ocelot is a cousin of the leopard, and was once abundant throughout Texas, Arizona, Arkansas and Louisiana. Hunting, habitat loss, a dwindling gene pool -- and now immigration politics -- have conspired to threaten the future of the species, according to a story in the June 25 Dallas Morning News.