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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

New York State Bobcats appear to be expanding their range southward toward Pennsylvania.........Of course, as soon as a carnivore has some success recolonizing a region, State Game Commissions immediately institute hunting and trapping...........As George Wuerthner so often points out,,,,,,,,,,as long at State Game Commisisions are (1)funded by hunting fees and... (2)Commisioners picked by Govenors who hand out these appointments to ranchers and farmers who either donate heavily to their campaigns or who have great influence on election outcomes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,then Carnivores are going to be trimmed to numbers that do not always have the health of the land as the key population determinant.............

Southern NY tier sees increase in bobcat population

DEC proposes expansion of hunting area

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Reports of bobcat sightings have surged in the Southern Tier and elsewhere over a few short years, spurring state officials to propose a dramatic expansion in the swath of New York where the rare felines can be hunted and trapped.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation's five-year bobcat management plan, released late last month, proposes a harvest expansion area that includes parts of 24 counties. The proposed new hunting area cuts across the Southern Tier from Lake Erie to Broome County before reaching up into central New York. According to the DEC, there have been 332 reported bobcat sightings in the expanded harvest area over the past five years.

"What began as occasional sightings along the New York/Pennsylvania border has progressed to large numbers of observations, trail camera photos, and incidental captures and releases by trappers," the DEC document states.

bobcat in NY woodlands

It is legal to hunt and trap bobcats in northern New York and parts of the Hudson Valley.
According to DEC spokeswoman Wendy Rosenbach, the proposal to expand the harvest area is due to population growth coupled with interest from hunters and trappers who covet their valuable pelts.
Eastern or northern U.S. bobcat pelts range in price from around $50 to more than $200, although values fluctuate from year to year.

"In response to this interest, we compiled all available data on bobcat observations in New York," Rosenbach said. "Based on that information, we concluded that bobcat populations are increasing and expanding throughout New York state outside of their historic core range in the Taconic, Catskill and Adirondack mountains and into central and western New York."

Where are all these bobcats coming from? The Keystone State is at least partly to blame. Migration of bobcats from Pennsylvania has likely contributed to the growth of the population across the Southern Tier.
"We certainly have high bobcat densities along the northern tier of Pennsylvania," said Matt Lovallo, supervisor of the game mammal section at the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

More than 1,000 bobcats are taken each year in Pennsylvania, he said. Populations are growing in that state as well. "It's just a function of increasing populations, and the natural dispersal of those populations as they increase," Lovallo said. "We've just reached that point where areas of good habitat are saturated and bobcats are striking out to find new areas where they can thrive."

According to the DEC report, bobcats are about twice the size of domestic cats. An average male weighs 21 pounds and has a body length of 34 inches; females average 14 pounds and 30 inches.

John Elms, president of the Broome County Sportsmen's Association, said the proposed change would benefit local hunters who currently have to travel north to find bobcats. "It'll give the predator hunters one more thing to go after," he said.

Predictably, there is opposition to the plan. Anne Muller, president of Hudson Valley-based Wildlilfe Watch, said DEC's hunting regulations exploit wildlife and manipulate populations. The group opposes all forms of sport hunting."Our concern is for individual animals, and the pain and the suffering that they endure," Muller said.

The proposal to expand the hunting area is subject to public comment and review.
Comments may be sent to NYSDEC, Bobcat Management Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. 12233, or by e-mail to The comment period ends Feb. 16.

If the proposed changes take effect, there would be two sets of regulations for bobcat hunting/trapping, depending on the area. Standard trapping and small game hunting licenses would be required to pursue bobcat in the current harvest area, and an additional trapping or hunting permit specific to bobcats would be necessary in the expanded harvest area.

"Bobcat population trends in New York also reflect general trends across the United States," Rosenbach said. "We believe the population of bobcats in the proposed area can sustain some harvest by trappers and hunters."

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