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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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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

There has been a Missouri Bobcat resurgence over the past 30 years emanating from source populations in eastern Kansas and southern Nebraska...........What started as an Ozarks reproducing population is expanding into other northern and western counties in the state..........

Sightings prove bobcats have presence in southeast Missouri

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Photo courtesy of PETER REA/USFWS - Peter Rea, Refuge
 Ranger at Mingo Wildlife Refuge near Puxico, photographed
 this bobcat around 8 a.m. on Feb. 3 in the refuge along Bluff 
Road in the fields close to Flatbanks Road.
PUXICO, Mo. -- More and more often, the public is hearing of bobcat sightings in southeast Missouri. A recent facebook posting of a bobcat seen within the confines of Mingo Wildlife Refuge confirmed their presence once again in the area and raised some questions for Peter Rea, Refuge Ranger at Mingo.

According to Rea, a daytime sighting of a bobcat is rare. They are nocturnal animals, preferring heavy forest cover with considerable underbrush, making Mingo an ideal setting for the animal.

"There is a healthy population of bobcats on the refuge," Rea says. "The refuge provides ideal habitat with the rocky bluffs, open field and forested areas. We have trail cameras out on the refuge and frequently get pictures of bobcats. They're extremely stealthy, and for that reason are not often seen by visitors."

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, bobcats used to live primarily in the Ozarks and the Bootheel, but over the past few decades have expanded westward and northward. They are considered one of the most common wild cats in North America, with an estimated 1,000,000 from southern Canada to northern Mexico.

A mature bobcat can be from 18 all the way to 50 inches in length and weigh from eight to nearly 50 pounds. They are of yellowish to reddish-brown in color, streaked and spotted with black. They have long hind legs, a short, broad face and a short "bobbed" tail that is generally from three to eight inches in length.

"The one pictured has a number of black streaks, so it appears darker," Rea explains. "Bobcats molt twice each year, and the summer coat is often more of a reddish color while the winter coat is more gray in color," he adds.

It is estimated that a bobcat will travel between three and seven miles nightly. They begin to mate in December and that can extend all the way into June, with the peak mating season in March. They have a 50-70 day gestation period, and two or three kittens are considered a normal litter.

Rea says the bobcat is not an aggressive animal. "They tend to be shy animals that avoid human interaction," he notes.

Rea says he has not heard of any livestock attacks around the refuge that are suspected to be by a bobcat.

"Their food source is plentiful here," he affirms. "Their main food source includes rabbits, mice, rats, squirrels and other small mammals, as well as opossums, wild turkeys, deer and other meats."

There is an established hunting season for bobcat in Missouri. Primary next season in begins on Nov. 15, 2015 and runs through Jan. 31, 2016. There are no restrictions as to how many bobcats may be taken during the designated period.

William R. Clark, Ph.D. & Todd Gosselink, Ph.D.


Iowa Department of Natural Resources

 Recently-established populations
 in Iowa and 
northern Missouri, places where
 30 years ago
 bobcats were virtually absent, 
were closely linked
 with bobcats to the southwest 
(eastern Kansas and 
southern Nebraska), but they 
showed little geneti
c input from populations to the 
north and east. Thus,
 large scale habitat fragmentation 
is influencing how 
bobcats are rebounding in the
 Midwest. The results
 at the regional scale emphsize 
the importance of
 understanding how wildlife
 management actions
 in surrounding states may 
impact Iowa's expanding
 bobcat populations, and vice versa.

The study emphasizes that large 
scale landscape changes, 
 caused by glaciers or human
 activities, have ecological 
 evolutionary effects that have 
influenced populations of
 in the past and will continue to do
 so for a long time
 into the future.

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