It is an adaptable predator inhabiting wooded areas, as well as semidesert, urban edge, forest edge, and swampland environments. The Canadian lynx is found throughout its namesake nation and Alaska … Fierce hunters, bobcats can kill prey much bigger than themselves, but usually eat rabbits, birds, mice, squirrels, and other smaller game. The Bobcat is a medium-sized, reddish brown or grayish cat. Kittens had the smallest range at about 3 sq mi (7.8 km2). The bobcat is a close relative of the somewhat larger Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis). [51], Bobcat tracks show four toes without claw marks, due to their retractable claws. Aubry, Keith and Rale, Catherine (July 2006), Hybridization between the bobcat and the Canada lynx, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, "A revised taxonomy of the Felidae: The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group", "Species Assessment for Canada lynx (Lynx Canadensis) in Wyoming", "The Late Miocene radiation of modern Felidae: A genetic assessment", "Appearance of black bobcats in New Brunswick puzzles biologist", "Great Cats: Bobcats – National Zoo| FONZ", "Bobcats, Bobcat Pictures, Bobcat Facts – National Geographic", "Bobcat Profile- The American Society of Mammalogists", Patterns in bobcat (Lynx rufus) scent marking and communication behaviors, 10.1674/0003-0031(2001)146[0043:SOOBLR]2.0.CO;2, 10.1674/0003-0031(2003)149[0395:SUMAHS]2.0.CO;2, 10.1674/0003-0031(2001)145[0080:PSBRBL]2.0.CO;2, 10.1674/0003-0031(1998)139[0275:BOBPOW]2.0.CO;2, "Winter Predation and Interactions of Wolves and Cougars on Panther Creek in Central Idaho", "Bobcat vs Bear: Competition over deer carcass", "Golden Eagle, Life History, All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology", "Epizootic and zoonotic helminths of the bobcat (, "Bobcat Found On Gateway Clipper Boat Removed By Animal Control", "Bobcat captured in Houston parking garage", "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Petition Finding and Proposed Rule To Delist the Mexican Bobcat (, "Pythons Eating Through Everglades Mammals at "Astonishing" Rate? It uses several methods to mark its territorial boundaries, including claw marks and deposits of urine or feces. When multiple territories overlap, a dominance hierarchy is often established, resulting in the exclusion of some transients from favored areas. Generally, an off-white color is seen on the lips, chin, and underparts. Bouts of activity seem more related to temperatures than intervals of light and darkness. The bobcat also suffered population decline in New Jersey at the turn of the 19th century, mainly because of commercial and agricultural developments causing habitat fragmentation; by 1972, the bobcat was given full legal protection, and was listed as endangered in the state in 1991. Other males may be in attendance, but remain uninvolved. [14] The pupils are round, black circles and will widen during nocturnal activity to maximize light reception. [28] In northern and central Mexico, the cat is found in dry scrubland and forests of pine and oak; its range ends at the tropical southern portion of the country. Another study observed a similar ratio, and suggested the males may be better able to cope with the increased competition, and this helped limit reproduction until various factors lowered the density. [31], In line with widely differing estimates of home range size, population density figures are divergent, from one to 38 bobcats per 10 sq mi (26 km2) in one survey. One study of 15 bobcats showed yearly survival rates for both sexes averaged 0.62, in line with other research suggesting rates of 0.56 to 0.67. If a bobcat is causing damage or is a nuisance, consult Maine's laws on this subject. Both sexes look alike. [16] However, cases of bobcats swimming long distances across lakes have been recorded. [37], The bobcat is able to survive for long periods without food, but eats heavily when prey is abundant. [62][63] Bobcat remains have occasionally been found in the resting sites of male fishers. Once the male recognizes the female is receptive, he grasps her in the typical felid neck grip and mates with her. [72] If chased by a dog, it usually climbs up a tree. On the rare occasions a bobcat kills a deer, it eats its fill and then buries the carcass under snow or leaves, often returning to it several times to feed. This population evolved into modern bobcats around 20,000 years ago. [28] A morphological size comparison study in the eastern United States found a divergence in the location of the largest male and female specimens, suggesting differing selection constraints for the sexes. "[91], Grave artifacts from dirt domes excavated in the 1980s along the Illinois River revealed a complete skeleton of a young bobcat along with a collar made of bone pendants and shell beads that had been buried by the Hopewell culture. [39], The bobcat hunts animals of different sizes, and adjusts its hunting techniques accordingly. They are often mistaken for other cats, such as mountain lions or house cats, but tend to be about twice as big as a domestic cat and smaller than a mountain lion. [69] Cannibalism has been reported; kittens may be taken when prey levels are low, but this is very rare and does not much influence the population. The Florida bobcat is about twice as big as a domestic cat and is easy to identify thanks to its short "bobbed" tail. The oldest wild bobcat on record was 16 years old, and the oldest captive bobcat lived to be 32. Below is a photo of two native Florida bobcats. Mar 4, 2012 - After all, we are the NYU Bobcats!. The bobcat hunts by stalking its prey and then ambushing with a short chase or pounce. Its color ranges from an orange-ish brown to pale gray with black spots and bars on it legs and chest and less noticeable spots throughout its body. Bobcats vary greatly in size. Bobcats are solitary except during the breeding season, which usually occurs during February or March. Adaptations. Liver autopsies in California bobcats that have succumbed to notoedric mange have revealed chronic rodenticide exposure. In some areas, bobcats are still trapped for their soft, spotted fur. Bobcat Company: Leader in Compact Equipment Manufacturer of Loaders, Excavators, Compact Tractors, Mowers, Utility Products, Telehandlers and Attachments. Their coat color varies and has been recorded in shades of light gray, yellowish-brown, buff-brown, and reddish-brown. Bobcat, (Lynx rufus), bobtailed North American cat (family Felidae), found from southern Canada to southern Mexico. Bobcats are common wild animals found across the United States. Juveniles show high mortality shortly after leaving their mothers, while still perfecting their hunting techniques. When walking your dog, use a 6-foot leash and be especially wary near creeks or wooded areas. [68], Diseases, accidents, hunters, automobiles, and starvation are the other leading causes of death. -- Deserts, Audubon Society Nature Guide, James A. MacMahon Like all cats, a bobcat, using its whiskers like fingertips, can \"feel\" prey in complete darkness, for instance in a rodent burrow. [17], The adult bobcat is 47.5 to 125 cm (18.7 to 49.2 in) long from the head to the base of its distinctive stubby tail, averaging 82.7 cm (32.6 in); the tail, which appears “bobbed” and gives the species its name,[18][19][20][21] adds 9 to 20 cm (3.5 to 7.9 in)[14], An adult stands about 30 to 60 cm (12 to 24 in) at the shoulders. Injuries such as having been hit by cars or disease, illness, birth defects. [31] The population of the bobcat depends primarily on the population of its prey; other principal factors in the selection of habitat type include protection from severe weather, availability of resting and den sites, dense cover for hunting and escape, and freedom from disturbance. Each night, it moves from 2 to 7 mi (3.2 to 11.3 km) along its habitual route. Educating local residents about the animals is critical, as well, for conservation in urban areas. EATS: Small mammals, birds, reptiles, invertebrates and occasionally deer. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. A bobcat may scowl, snarl, and spit when confronted with danger and may be heard screaming during the breeding season. Their fur is buff to brown, sometimes with a reddish tinge, marked with spots or stripes of brown or black, or both. [31] A link has been observed between population density and sex ratio. The bobcat hunts by stealth, but delivers a deathblow with a leaping pounce that can cover 10 feet. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, bobcats killed 11,100 sheep in 2004, comprising 4.9% of all sheep predator deaths. [52] They hunt by themselves by fall of their first year, and usually disperse shortly thereafter. Within three to five months, they begin to travel with their mother. Home range size in eastern Washington tends to be larger. Prior to settlement, bobcats … Its status has changed dramatically in our state. One to six, but usually two to four, kittens are born in April or May, after roughly 60 to 70 days of gestation. Bobcats are shy, solitary, and generally elusive. [88] However, another version depicts them with equality and identicality. [11][22] Adult males can range in weight from 6.4 to 18.3 kg (14 to 40 lb), with an average of 9.6 kg (21 lb); females at 4 to 15.3 kg (8.8 to 33.7 lb), with an average of 6.8 kg (15 lb). In Missouri, bobcats prefer heavy forests with thick underbrush, broken by rock outcroppings, bluffs, glades, clearings and timbered swamps. The cat’s fur can be many different colors, from yellow-tan to red-brown. Bobcats in Ohio. Though the bobcat prefers rabbits and hares, it hunts insects, chickens, geese and other birds, small rodents, and deer. The bobcat is a less well-known species that can be found throughout most of North America. Bobcats are active year-round and can be active day or night, but tend to exhibit crepuscular (dawn and dusk) activity. This leads to a decrease in natural genetic diversity among bobcat populations. [15], Bobcat activities are confined to well-defined territories, which vary in size depending on the sex and the distribution of prey. Bobcats can run at up to 30 miles per hour. It then pounces, grabbing its prey with its sharp, retractable claws. Bobcat sightings are also tracked through the annual Archer’s Index, where volunteer deer bow hunters report the number of hours they hunt and the species they saw while hunting. Bobcats locally have never been documented to eat people's pets or attack people. It may be spotted anywhere from swamps to backyards. Bobcats stand 19-22 inches at the shoulder and 28-49 inches in length on average. At birth, it weighs 0.6 to 0.75 lb (270 to 340 g) and is about 10 in (25 cm) in length. The bobcat (Lynx rufus), also known as the red lynx, is a medium-sized cat native to North America from southern Canada, most of the contiguous United States to Oaxaca in Mexico. The young open their eyes by the ninth or tenth day. [30] In its territory, the bobcat has numerous places of shelter, usually a main den, and several auxiliary shelters on the outer extent of its range, such as hollow logs, brush piles, thickets, or under rock ledges. Data on sightings and trail-camera submissions are collected, as is mortality data. [37], The bobcat is an adaptable animal. [70] One study found an average infection rate of 52% from Toxoplasma gondii, but with great regional variation. Bobcats are fascinating creatures that might compete well in looks and skills with the cat sensation that has swept social media. The bobcats in the North tend to be larger than those in the south. While bobcats and lynxes are separate species, they do belong to the same genus, which, coincidentally, happens to be the Lynx genus. Click to hear bobcat sounds. Although it has been hunted extensively both for sport and fur, populations have proven resilient though declining in some areas.[1]. The bobcats ability to adapt to many different habitats and ranges is what has made it such a successful species. Bobcats are found in all 72 Wisconsin counties, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Its coat is variable, though generally tan to grayish-brown, with black streaks on the body and dark bars on the forelegs and tail. [52] Research in Texas has suggested establishing a home range is necessary for breeding; studied animals with no set range had no identified offspring. Bobcat. These largest bobcats actually weigh more than the Canada lynx, which does not have such wide variances in size. They start exploring their surroundings at four weeks and are weaned at about two months. Bobcats, Lynx rufus, are active all throughout the year, especially at night. Left alone, they often pose no threat to humans, but in rare instances, bobcats can be dangerous. Bobcat eyes are yellow with round, black pupils. The bobcat’s tail is “bobbed” in appearance (4 to 6”) and much shorter than the tail of mountain lion and most domestic cats. They have facial ruffs, ear tufts, white spots near the tips of their ears and a bobbed tail. [28] The average is estimated at one bobcat per 5 square miles (13 km2). According to DNR estimates, northern Wisconsin had about 1,500 bobcats in … [28] The animal may appear in back yards in "urban edge" environments, where human development intersects with natural habitats. Bobcats are elusive and nocturnal, so they are rarely spotted by humans. During this time they will learn to hunt before setting out on their own. However seldomly, it may be killed in interspecific conflict by several larger predators or fall prey to them. Prey selection depends on location and habitat, season, and abundance. Bobcat Lynx rufus.

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