bobcat (Lynx rufus rufus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Not confirmed.

 

CHARACTERISTICS: This is a medium sized cat with a total length

of 24-40 inches and a weight of 10-25 pounds. They have a very short
tail, relatively long legs and rather long, loose fur with longer cheek
fur forming sideburns. The upper parts are reddish-brown, spotted/
streaked with black, and below, they are white spotted/streaked with
black. The breeding season is from early January to March, and are
probably monogamous. A litter of 1-5 kittens is born in April or May
in a lined den. The female defends them strongly, even against the
male until about 2 months of age. Both bring meat to the kittens.
They have a swift, distinctive bounding gait, and are very secretive.
They are nocturnal and have a range from 5-50 miles in diameter.
Longevity in the wild is 10 to 14 years. The general trend shows that
there must be concern for bobcat in western Virginia due to the rapidly
increasing pressure from trappers.

 

DISTRIBUTION: The Barbours Creek section of Craig, Poor Valley

in Bland and Tazewell, parts of Augusta, the Alleghany Mountains
through Highland, Bath and Alleghany, the Massanutten Range, and

parts of Wise, Lee and Scott Counties hold the greatest concentra-

tions but it is present throughout Virginia. This species is generally

found in heavily forested/mountainous/rugged terrain, but may exist

in wooded districts near farms and human habitation. They show little

avoidance of any habitat type except in areas highly developed or with

dense human populations.

 

FOODS: The bobcat is a primary predator of small game, and only
occasionally kills livestock (individual, not habitual predation by all
bobcats). They are useful to the farmer since they kill rodents. They

take deer mostly in fall and winter just after hunting season (cripples

and lost kills). This species is an opportunist, and the more plentiful

wild animals become its staple foods.

 

 

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