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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, May 2, 2013

As we have posted about previously, the "OLD NORTHWEST" state of Ohio that so throroughly had extirpated all of it's large carnivores by the latter half of the 19th century has seen a return of the Bobcat in recent years...............Populations from Pennsylvania and West Virginia have penetrated the State with southeastern Ohio now supporting an increasingly vibrant "Bob" collective



The bobcat (Lynx rufus) is native to Ohio but was once extirpated from the state in 1850 due to the early settlement. In 1997, Division of Wildlife initiated a project to systematically monitor the status on bobcats in the state.
In 2011, there was confirmation of 136 sightings, which is an increase since 2010 of 106 sightings. These reports of confirmation consist of pictures, tracks, road kill, incidental trapping and sightings of Division of Wildlife personnel. The majority of the verified reports sustain in Noble County and surrounding counties.
The bobcat was on the Ohio endangered species list but now has been changed to the threatened list in 2012. Bobcats, like anything else, are fighting for survival, which is a daily challenge.
The young are preyed upon by foxes, owls, eagles, coyotes and adult male bobcats. The bobcat can live up to 12 years in the wild but the average is much shorter. Bobcats are carnivores that like to prey upon rabbits, white-tail deer, birds, fish, insects, reptiles, and amphibians.

Morning and evening

Bobcats are crepuscular, which means they are active in the early evening and morning hours. They may be seen during the day or night.
Bobcats can be found in a variety of habitats from lowland areas to upland forests. A bobcat's home range can be .2 to 78 square miles. The home range location is determined from the availability of food, shelter, animal's sex, geographic region, population density, and the area's defensibility.

How they look

The coat of a bobcat is short and varies in color from light gray, yellowish brown, buff brown, and reddish brown. The under parts and inside the legs are white with dark spots. The tail, tip of the ear, and the back side of the ear are black. The back side of the ear will also have white spots.
The tail is 5-6 inches long. The adult male can be 32-37 inches long weighing 12-68 pounds and the adult female can be 29-34 inches long, weighing 9-34 pounds.The track of a bobcat is four toes with no claw marks, due to the retractable claws. The front foot and hind foot is 1.9 inches by 1.75 inches. Bobcat scat is in segments, which usually contain the hair and bones of its prey.

The young

Bobcats are polygamous, meaning the male breeds with more than one female. Breeding can occur anytime but mostly from December through May. The gestation period is 63 days and the kits are dependent upon the female mother.
Typically there is just one litter a year with one-six kittens, but if the litter is lost, a second litter will be produced. The young are weaned at eight weeks and will disperse in the fall or late winter. The females are sexually mature at nine-12 months and the males are sexually mature at 18 months.
Bobcats are an amazing specie among others here in Ohio. All wildlife species are vital to our ecosystem. The increasing number of bobcats helps contribute to our wildlife diversity that we are able to observe and appreciate.

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