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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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Monday, March 7, 2016

As we see Grizzly Bears moving farther and farther north into the range of Polar Bears (as warmer weather patterns kick into Canada and Alaska), so seemingly is the Bobcat expanding it's range into traditional Lynx habitat in British Columbia, Canada...................Accordingly, the University of British Columbia Okanagan is investigating just how far north this new Bobcat territory extends into..................Historically, bobcats and lynx have been typically separated by snow depth"............. “Lynx have extremely long legs and large snowshoe-like paws, making them well adapted for travelling across deep snow"................ “In contrast, bobcats are heavier, have small feet and sink into the snow". ........... "However, climate change has led to earlier springs and lower snow levels in North America enabling "Bobs" to encroach on their "big webbed foot" cousins, the Lynx

Wanted: Photos of bobcats and lynx

Wanted: Photos of bobcats and lynx(bobcat in picture above)

A bobcat/lynx study is underway at the University of BC Okanagan in partnership with the provincial Ministry of Environment — and they need your help.
“We are seeking photos of bobcats and lynx captured by trail cameras or conventional cameras from all corners of the province and from all time periods to help determine the current provincial distribution of each species,” said T.J. Gooliaf, who is part of the study.

Figure 1.

“We think that bobcats are moving northwards and into higher elevations.”
The photos do not have to be great photography. They simply need to show a bobcat or lynx — or even just a part of one. Photos can be blurry or dark and don’t even have to clearly show which cat species is present.
When sending photos, please include both the date and location of each photo. Location should be as specific as possible: most preferred is UTM or LAT/LONG co-ordinates. If that information is not available, please provide the name of the nearest road or landmark (including distance and direction from road or landmark) or nearest town (including distance and direction from town) or watershed or management unit.


Photos will be used for data only (which species was where and when) and will not influence management decisions regarding hunting/trapping bag limits or season dates. Photos will not be published or shared with anyone without permission and photographers will retain ownership of their photos.
The results of this study will be shared with all those who are interested.
“Historically, bobcats and lynx have been typically separated by snow depth,” Gooliaf said. “Lynx have extremely long legs and large snowshoe-like paws, making them well adapted for travelling across deep snow. They are found in the boreal forests across Canada and Alaska, as well as the mountain ranges extending south into Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.
“In contrast, bobcats are heavier, have small feet and sink into the snow. They are found throughout the deserts and grasslands of the contiguous United States, as well as southern Canada. However, climate change has led to earlier springs and lower snow levels in western North America,” Gooliaf said.

Canada Lynx

“As a result, suitable bobcat habitat may now be present in new areas of B.C. I am using photos of bobcats and lynx submitted by the public to help map the current provincial distribution of both species to determine if their ranges have shifted in response to climate change. I hypothesize that bobcats have moved northwards and into higher elevations.”
Photos, along with the date and location of where each was taken, can be emailed to

High-Profile Publication Establishes Trent Grad Student as World-Class Ecological Researcher

Michael Peers' study on Canada lynx and bobcat makes cover of Proceedings of the Royal Society journal

Michael Peers is more than an M.Sc. candidate in Environmental and Life Sciences (ENLS) at Trent University. He is also an accomplished researcher and animal educator with a growing list of impressive credentials.

Now the international ecological community is taking notice of Mr. Peers’ ground-breaking research. His latest study entitled “Evidence for large-scale effects of competition: niche displacement in Canada lynx and bobcat,”is the lead article of the December 2013 issue of the widely respected journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society.

The study, which compared the Canada lynx and bobcat across North America, is the largest of its kind. Speaking of its impact, Mr. Peers’ supervisor Dr. Dennis Murray (, Canada Research Chair in Integrative Wildlife Conservation and professor of Biology at Trent University, says: “Michael’s work is the first to show that competition between two species can be detected at the scale of the entire geographic range of the species. This is unprecedented and gives us insight into how competition can cause a common response at a continental scale.”

Lynx hunting snowshoe hares

The Impacts of Climate Change
Mr. Peers worked on the study with Dr. Murray and Dr. Daniel Thornton, a former post-doctoral fellow in Prof. Murray’s lab and currently an adjunct assistant professor at Washington State University.  The research demonstrates how increased competition, owing to climate change and expansion of bobcat into lynx range, may cause lynx to be more susceptible to changing climates by forcing southern lynx into the habitats where they are least likely to encounter bobcat.

“If Canada lynx are displaced to areas of high snow cover, these areas will be most affected by warming temperatures and will disappear in the southern lynx range,” says Mr. Peers. Dr. Murray continues, “Thus, it is a double whammy involving the effects of climate change on increased competition with bobcats, and the effects of climate change on deterioration of habitats that lynx are forced into as a result of increased competition.”

Prior to the release of this study, Mr. Peers has published several other papers that relate to his research interests involving distribution modelling to determine the factors that influence the large-scale distribution of species.

Evidence for large-scale 

effects of competition:

 niche displacement in 

Canada lynx and bobcat

Michael J. L. PeersDaniel H. Thornton
Dennis L. Murray


Determining the patterns, causes and consequences of
character displacement is central to our understanding
 of competition in ecological communities. However, the
 majority of competition research has occurred over
 small spatial extents or focused on fine-scale
 differences in morphology or behaviour.

 Lynx hunting hare

 The effects of competition on broad-scale distribution
 and niche characteristics of species remain poorly
 understood but critically important. Using range-wide
 species distribution models, we evaluated whether
 Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) or bobcat
 (Lynx rufus) were displaced in regions of sympatry.

 Consistent with our prediction, we found that lynx
 niches were less similar to those of bobcat in areas
 of sympatry versus allopatry, with a stronger 
reliance on snow cover driving lynx niche
 divergence in the sympatric zone. By contrast,
 bobcat increased niche breadth in zones of
 sympatry, and bobcat niches were equally similar
 to those of lynx in zones of sympatry and allopatry.

 These findings suggest that competitively 
disadvantaged species avoid competition at
 large scales by restricting their niche to highly
 suitable conditions, while superior competitors
 expand the diversity of environments used. Our
 results indicate that competition can manifest
 within climatic niche space across species’
 ranges, highlighting the importance of biotic
 interactions occurring at large spatial scales
 on niche dynamics.

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