Endangered Animal May Lose Status

Mexican Bobcat may not be considered endangered

Extinction

The mexican bobcat was classified as an endangered species in 1976. They were being threated by decreasing habitat, militarization of U.S. Mexican border and by hunting. Their pelts are very valuable, so many pelts are being illegally transported from Mexico to the United States. It is estimated that over 40,000 are being killed each year, but there has not been an offical counting to see how many mexican bobcats are left. Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has officially proposed delisting it from endangered species, which would legalize fur trade, causing even more deaths.

What Exactly Does a Mexican Bobcat Look Like?

Mexican bobcats are medium sized cats that weigh between nine and thirty pounds. They grow up to reach over four feet long and usually live about ten to twelve years. Their coat is light gray to reddish brown with short, dense hair, and they are covered with spots. They have whiskered faces with black tufted ears. The ears are white on the back, which is thought to guide young cats to their mothers at night. They also have twenty-eight teeth, while most cats have thirty. A ruff of fur runs around the side of their face, giving the effect of a sideburn. Some distinctive features are black bars on their forelegs, a darker tail and a “bob” tail that is only five inches long. Like most cats, they have claws. The mexican bobcat’s claws retract and are more than an inch long. Bobcats are also natural tree climbers with an excellent sense of smell, sight and hearing. They are very stealthy and make sounds similar to a housecat-meows, yowls and purring.

Where Are Mexican Bobcats Located?

Mexican bobcats are found only in central Mexico. They can be found in many habitats, including coniferous forests, coastal swamps, deserts and scrubland. They are adapted to survive the Sinaloa thornscrub and deciduous forests (Sinaloa is a region in Mexico). Mexican bobcats will sleep in hollow tress, thickets, hidden dens and rocky crevices.

What Kinds of Interactions Does the Mexican Bobcat Have?

Mexican bobcats are solitary animals that are rarely seen by humans. They are territorial creatures that establish home ranges that are several square miles. Male bobcat’s territories may overlap, but females’ territories will not overlap. Bobcats only come together during breeding season. Females give birth to two or three young after fifty to seventy days. Kittens become independent at eight months of age. They are nocturnal, but active around dawn and dusk.

What Do Mexican Bobcats Eat?

Mexican bobcats will eat almost anything- rabbits, rodents, small mammals, peccaries, reptiles, birds, bats and even deer. They compete with coyotes for food and shelter.

Why Should We Save the Mexican Bobcat?

The Mexican bobcat needs to remain on the endangered species list because if taken off, more bobcats will be killed than ever due to the elimination of rules prohibiting pelt selling. If the Mexican bobcat becomes extinct, we will be losing a valuable and distinctly unique subspecies. The Mexican bobcat is the southernmost species of bobcat, and if killed, we will be losing many behaviors unique to this subspecies of bobcat. Also, there have not been any censuses conducted on how many Mexican bobcats are being killed each year. Any numbers that have been found are just very rough estimates that could be incorrect. There may be only a few Mexican bobcats left, and we would not even realize it. The Mexican bobcat needs to remain on the endangered species list, or we might lose it forever.

Citations

"Earth's Endangered Creatures - Mexican Bobcat Facts." Mexican Bobcat. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.earthsendangered.com/profile-39.html>.

"Mexican bobcat." Center for Biological Diversity. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/Mexican_bobcat/index.html>.

"Natural history." Center for Biological Diversity. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/Mexican_bobcat/natural_history.html