ENDANGERED SPECIES OF NC
All about the Bobcat
All about the Lynx rufus
The fur down the middle of the back may be darker, and bobcats may be grayer in the winter than at other times of the year. Adult bobcats are about two times as large as a domestic cat, standing 20 inches to 30 inches at the shoulder. Adult weights range from 10 to 40 pounds, with males being about one third larger than females.
Although bobcats are found in a wide range of habitats in North Carolina, wooded habitats of the Coastal Plain and mountains support the largest numbers.
Bottomland hardwoods, young pine stands, swamps and pocosins provide good bobcat habitation in eastern North Carolina. In the mountains, mature forests with openings or early successional forests nearby are favored. Hollow trees, rock piles, brush piles, root masses of uprooted trees or similar sites are common bobcat dens.
The bobcat is a carnivore that favors early successional prey such as rabbits and mice. Bobcats may also consume birds, cotton rats, white-tailed deer, rodents, gray squirrels, raccoons, opossums and snakes. Lynx Rufus are active year-round and can be active day or night, but tend to exhibit crepuscular (dawn and dusk) activity. Bobcats are solitary except during the breeding season, which usually occurs during February or March.
Why the Lynx Rufus is Endanger
Bobcats are legally harvested for the fur trade in 38 US states, and in seven Canadian provinces. In Mexico, the Bobcat is legally hunted in small numbers as a trophy animal. There appears to be little illegal international trade, although within the US, molecular forensics techniques have determined that skins reported as originating from an area with a high bag limit were probably illegally taken from an area with a lower limit.
The Bobcat is now the leading wild cat species in the skin trade, with most exports coming from the US. In 2000-2006 the average annual export of skins was 29,772, with an all-time high of 51,419 skins exported in 2006.Demand for Bobcat pelts is being driven by Asian countries with growing economies. Although this harvest seems likely to continue, it is regulated. The far more serious threat to these cats is the continuing habitat fragmentation, loss of habitat, and persecution by farmers and ranchers.
A California study (2012) found the primary source of mortality in Bobcats was notoedric mange, or feline scabies. Researchers discovered a direct link from the infected cats to anticoagulant rat poisons. Eating of the poisoned rodents resulted in 51% of collared Bobcats dying during the study. Other carnivores such as Cougar Puma concolor were equally affected. On a regional level, the Bobcat is totally protected in ten USA states; in Canada hunting and trade is regulated; and in Mexico hunting is regulated in five states and shooting of suspected livestock predators is permitted. The degree to which these little cats have been studied and managed in North America makes them probably the most thoroughly examined species in international trade today.