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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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Friday, April 14, 2017

Earlier this week we learned about the Canadian Lynx...............Today, a cousin of the Lynx, the Bobcat, gets its time on this page...................Sympatric with the Lynx in northern New England, the Great Lakes States and in parts of the Rocky Mtns, the Bobcat tends to be more successful than it's cousin in regions with lighter winter snowfall................Lacking the web paws of the Lynx, the Bobcat(larger in size than the Lynx) is the the more powerful feline on bare ground and snow that goes through phases of melting, freezing and then thawing out again................The Bobcat tends to be somewhat more generalized in its dining habits than the Lynx, although both depend heavily on snowshoe hares, substituting squirrels, deer fawns, carrion and birds eggs when hares are less available on the land..................Evidence of late is demonstrating that the two cousin species can and will hybridize when both inhabit a particular biome

Lessons From Professor Bobcat

Lessons From Professor Bobcat
Photos by Eric Aldrich
Editor’s Note: This blog is by our friend Eric Aldrich. You can see more of his images on theHancock Wildlife Cam on Facebook.
For nearly 10 years, I had been camera-trapping pretty much year-round, starting with carcasses to draw in animals and getting neat photos. Then, at some point, I pretty much quit the carcasses and decided to match wits with the wildlife, seeking out shots of flying squirrels, deer, black bears, fishers, otters, and other species in their own settings, under their own terms.
As expected, the effort went up and the success rate went down, but the satisfaction grew and the photos were better. The shift away from bait forced me to study the lay of the land and the habits and habitats of the wildlife.
In the process, first by accident and then by design,c I started getting cool photos of bobcats. This led to an email from Dallas Huggins, a student of White Pine Programs in York, Maine. Dallas was enrolled in White Pine’s tracking course and sought my thoughts about camera-trapping bobcats. We’ve been tracking, trailing, and camera-trapping bobcats together ever since and learning a lot in the process; it’s been like earning a degree in the woods from professor Lynx rufus.
Here’s a glimpse of what the bobcat has taught us:
Track them in the winter and they’ll show you where to place a camera. You’ll see where they’re hunting or passing regularly. Bobcats may not be in those same places come spring or summer, but you may start seeing some patterns and regular routes. Keep track of those tracks; they may make more sense next year and even more sense with each passing year of tracking. In warm months, look for pinch points between wetlands and where rocky slopes meet marshes.

The bobcat is the teacher, you’re the student. Glean every drop of information from every photo, every track you get. Which way is it going? Exactly how big is that front and back paw? What time of day does it appear? Are there distinguishing features that let you ID individuals? Keep track of everything. Look for patterns and rhythms; it may make sense, it may not, but keep looking anyway. Zeroing in on an individual cat’s habits and home range will tip the odds of a good picture in your favor.
Have patience. You can do everything right and go months or years without getting a bobcat on your cam. Then your neighbor who has no idea what he or she is doing sticks a camera out there and gets a spectacular bobcat image right away. It’s not you. Really.


Habitat Fragmentation
and Interspecific
Competition: Implications
for Lynx Conservation

Competition With Bobcats

Bobcats attain larger body size than lynx (Hall 1981) and may be larger
than sympatric lynx in some areas. Among a small sample of sympatric
bobcats and lynx in western Wyoming, the largest male bobcat was 2-4 kg
larger than the largest male lynx (T. Lorean, personal communication). Such a body-size difference would set the stage for interference competition
dominated by bobcats. Further, the diets of both species (reviewed by Rolley
1987 and Quinn and Parker 1987) tend to be dominated by leporids(rabbits/hares), creating the setting for potential lynx
displacement by bobcats, especially in regions without deep snow cover.

Hybridization Between Canada Lynx and Bobcats: Genetic Results and Management Implications


Hybridization between taxonomically similar species is an often-overlooked mechanism limiting the recovery of threatened and endangered species. We present molecular genetic data for the first time demonstrating that Canada lynx and bobcats hybridize in the wild. We verify that two microsatellite loci Lc106 and Lc110 have non-overlapping allele ranges between Canada lynx and bobcats, and that three putative lynx from Minnesota contain DNA from both bobcats and lynx.
Additionally, we use a published test for the 16S rRNA region of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to determine the maternal species; all hybrids had lynx mothers. Fifteen per cent (3/20) of our ‘putative lynx’ samples were hybrids, although these data are not from a representative sampling effort. Hybridization may be an under-appreciated factor limiting the distribution and recovery of lynx. The presence of hybrids is thus a new factor in the population management of both species with potential implications for hunting and trapping of bobcats.

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