Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

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

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bobcats are a recovering and expanding species in Massachusetts and while Mass. Wildlife folks do not have an accurate count of how many reside in the state, increased sightings suggest an upward population trend is taking place............The "Bobs" are moving from northern stretches of Massachusetts down into the southern tiers, with Cape Cod recording it's first Bobcat sighting in over 200 years this Summer..................

Bobcats prowl, and a family purrs in Massachusetts


Bobcats bounce around recently in the backyard of Littleton resident Angela Wilde's home.

LITTLETON -- For four days last week, Angela Wilde and her husband kept quiet, shutting cabinets gently and staying off their screened porch, anything to avoid disturbing their feline visitors."The whole time they were there, we stayed inside and talked in hushed voices," Wilde said. "We didn't want them to leave. We wanted them to stay."The aptly named Wilde family found their yard a temporary home for a family of the state's only native wildcat. A mother bobcat and her four kittens camped out in a patch of bark mulch near an old stone wall.

The usually mysterious bobcat is shy around humans, so sightings are rare, making Wilde "a very lucky person," according to Marion Larson, information and education chief at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife."There are lots of outdoorspeople who don't see a bobcat," Larson said. "I'm jealous, and I think other people would be, too."Because bobcats are not commonly seen, people don't realize how common they are, Larson said.

MassWildlife doesn't have population numbers for the species because the state has a ban on the kind of traps that are most likely to catch bobcats so researchers can tag and release them. However, Larson said, based anecdotally on emails her agency receives and reports from other states, it seems like people are encountering more than usual.

The cats' range is expanding, too, especially to the south. Until recently, the southernmost definitive bobcat sighting was in Carver, but a Falmouth man recorded a video of one in his yard earlier this month. It was the first instance of a confirmed bobcat presence on Cape Cod in over 200 years.

Bobcat seen on Cape Cod this Summer(behind the rock with white ear tufts-center of picture below)

Also this month, a bobcat was hit by a car in Westford while trying to cross a street. The pregnant cat was treated in the emergency center at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine of Tufts University, in Grafton, but ultimately died."They may be becoming a little bit more accustomed to being in residential areas because when there's birdfeeders, there's a potential meal in the squirrels and the like that are attracted to birdfeeders also," Larson said.
Wilde got to observe the kittens practicing their hunting skills, stalking each other and play-fighting as their mother looked on.

"They played all the time," Wilde said. "They came out in the yard like late afternoon. You would see them around 4 p.m. It was like they were busy working or something all day, and then she let them play for a couple hours."

Bobcats don't generally pose a danger to humans, Larson said. But the ones in Littleton proved hazardous to Wilde's azalea plants and ornamental grass bushes."They wrecked everything, but we didn't care," Wilde said, laughing. "We were like, 'Oh, no let them do whatever they want!' "

Wilde enjoyed the mischievous presence of what Larson called "probably the most elusive of the larger animals" so much that it was a disappointment to see them go."We're going to look down at that spot every day for the next five years, looking for them," Wilde said. "She might come back next year -- who knows?"

No comments: