Sunday 5 April 2009

American Bobcat Population Rise

American bobcat
Photo by dbarronoss

It seems that the American Bobcat is bouncing back in New Hampshire, Mass, USA. Cats are very resilient, you know. Having been persecuted to extinction in the area, when left alone they do fine, only the human population of the area in question has obviously increased since they wer slaughtering this cat, which must leave a question mark as how large the Bobcat population can be allowed to expand. Clearly that question is only hypothetical and potential, but it might become real. Can we make arrangements to allow the American Bobcat to live with us in harmony? A short history of persecution of this cat in this area might read like this:

Date Event
1800s Colonial years - Bobcat were wiped out in most of New England and Massachusetts. Bobcats returned when farmers went west
1900s Authorities and dealers paid for the Bobcat pelt.
20th century Bobcat seen as a nuisance and eliminated accordingly
1968 Massachusetts end bounty program
1973 New Hampshire end bounty program
1977 New Hampshire outlaw Bobcat hunting
2002-9 Seven Bobcat sightings in the Worcester city limits
2007-9 50 American Bobcats sightings. Cars kill 30 over this period.

It is, though, hard to confirm the American Bobcat population rise as it is hard to count them. It would be nice of we could, this time, learn to live with the American Bobcat, now that we supposedly know better. Here is some information about this top predator in New Hampshire (other than the human):
  • It competes with the Coyote but Coyotes eat anything and Bobcat don't.
  • It will prefer to run rather than confront but when cornered will fight hard.
  • They average 15 to 35 pounds but look larger due to think fur.
  • They are currently Massachusetts only native wildcat.
  • Like all cats they are crepuscular - active at dawn and dusk
  • They are quiet and stealthy but will snarl when confronted
This is our second chance to see this wildcat in her natural habitat and to live in harmony with it. Lets not screw up again. See the American Bobcat.

American Bobcat Population Rise -- Photo: published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs creative commons License -- this site is for charitable purposes in funding cat rescue.

American Bobcat population rise to Home Page

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