Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

NAMED FOR ITS DISTINCTIVE STUBBY TAIL

Feature photo: Bobcat by Outward_bound via Creative Commons 

Profile photo: Bobcat by Wayne Dumbleton via Creative Commons

The bobcat (Lynx rufus) is an adaptable predator of the cat family Felidae that inhabits wooded areas, as well as semidesert, urban edge, forest edges, and swampland environments from southern Canada to northern Mexico, including most of the continental United States.

The bobcat is vital for controlling pest populations. With a gray to brown coat, whiskered face, and black-tufted ears, the bobcat is about twice as large as the domestic cat. It has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby tail, from which it derives its name.

Though the bobcat prefers rabbits and hares, it will hunt anything from insects, chickens, geese and other birds and small rodents to deer. Prey selection depends on location and habitat, season, and abundance. Like most cats, the bobcat is territorial and largely solitary, although with some overlap in home ranges.

Bobcats have been hunted extensively by humans, both for sport and fur, their population has proven resilient though declining in some areas.

*Stay tuned for more in-depth information on bobcats coming soon.

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