Bobcat Information

Bobcat Information


Hello, my name is Geriann Albers and I’m the
furbearer biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. And today I wanted to talk to you a little
bit about bobcats in Indiana. And like many of our wildlife species bobcats
were almost completely gone from the state by the early 1900s. And when we created our first endangered species
list in 1969 bobcats were included on that list. But we started to get more sightings and bobcats
moving up from some of neighboring states like Kentucky. And we started getting more reports through
the 80s and the 90s and big increases in the 2000s. And we actually delisted bobcats and removed
them from the endangered species list in 2005 because their populations were doing so well. Now there are a couple of key characteristics
that you can use to distinguish a bobcat. There’s a couple of characteristics on the
ears. Sometimes they show these small ear tufts
and their ears are generally black on the back with a white center. And sometimes they’ll show cheek ruffs. Sometimes that can be hard to see in summer. And then they have black marks inside their
legs. And then one of their most distinguishing
characteristics is their tail. And they get their name because their tail
is ver short and looks like it’s bobbed. It’s generally black on top and white underneath. Now we’ve done some research on our bobcats
in Indiana. We did a diet study and we found that bobcats
mostly eat rabbits, squirrels and small mammals like mice and voles. And part of that diet is the reason that you
may see them occasionally in urban areas. And that is not unusual because we have a
lot of rabbits, squirrels and mice in our urban areas. And bobcats can be found there accordingly. We also did some collaring research from 1998
to 2005 where we were able to track bobcats movements. And we found that some of our animals were
able to move over 100 miles to find new territories. And this is part of the reason we think bobcats
are doing so well and expanding so quickly throughout Indiana. So bobcats are a true conservation success
story for Indiana. And they’re now found in 78 of 92 counties. And if you’d like more information about bobcats
please visit our website at wildlife.in.gov

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