[37], Bobcats generally begin breeding by their second summer, though females may start as early as their first year. [28] The average is estimated at one bobcat per 5 square miles (13 km2). A few decades ago, a bobcat sighting in most parts of North America was a rarity. [75] In early March 2010, a bobcat was sighted (and later captured by animal control authorities) in a parking garage in downtown Houston. They are rarely seen because of their ability to blend into their surroundings and move silently. [38] The bobcat is an opportunistic predator that, unlike the more specialized Canada lynx, readily varies its prey selection. It then pounces, grabbing its prey with its sharp, retractable claws. [61] Like other Lynx species, bobcats probably avoid encounters with bears, in part because they are likely to lose kills to them or may rarely be attacked by them. When multiple territories overlap, a dominance hierarchy is often established, resulting in the exclusion of some transients from favored areas. The bobcat can make great strides when running, often from 4 to 8 ft (1.2 to 2.4 m). The type and place of burial indicate a tamed and cherished pet or possible spiritual significance. [51] During courtship, the otherwise silent bobcat may let out loud screams, hisses, or other sounds. Bobcats also tend to opt for isolated areas. One study found a large variation in male range sizes, from 16 sq mi (41 km2) in summer up to 40 sq mi (100 km2) in winter. [51], Bobcat tracks show four toes without claw marks, due to their retractable claws. [52] Research in Texas has suggested establishing a home range is necessary for breeding; studied animals with no set range had no identified offspring. [50] With the Canada lynx, however, the interspecific relationship affects distribution patterns; competitive exclusion by the bobcat is likely to have prevented any further southward expansion of the range of its felid relative. However, some of these wildcats also live in central and northern portions of Mexico and in southern regions of Canada. The animal is regulated in all three of its range countries, and is found in a number of protected areas of the United States, its principal territory. The young open their eyes by the ninth or tenth day. In the 20th century, it was thought to have lost territory in the US Midwest and parts of the Northeast, including southern Minnesota, eastern South Dakota, and much of Missouri, mostly due to habitat changes from modern agricultural practices. It is listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which means it is not considered threatened with extinction, but hunting and trading must be closely monitored. Birds up to the size of an adult trumpeter swan are also taken in ambushes, along with their fledglings and eggs. The animal is regulated in all three of its range countries, and is found in a number of protected areas of the United States, its principal territory. Unusual for cats, males are more tolerant of overlap, while females rarely wander into others' ranges. Yet, sadly, the old misguided fears exist. Like most cats, the bobcat is territorial and largely solitary, although with some overlap in home ranges. Bobcats remain reproductively active throughout their lives. The range of a bobcat includes the entire continental U.S., from southern Canada to northern Mexico. The majority of the world's bobcats are found in the United States but they range from Mexico to southern Canada. They start exploring their surroundings at four weeks and are weaned at about two months. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. [84], In bobcats using urban habitats in California, the use of rodenticides has been linked to both secondary poisoning by consuming poisoned rats and mice, and to increased rates of severe mite infestation (known as notoedric mange), as an animal with a poison-weakened immune system is less capable of fighting off mange. [83] For bobcats, preserving open space in sufficient quantities and quality is necessary for population viability. [45] Bobcats are also occasional hunters of livestock and poultry. For the wrestler, see, Game animals and shooting in North America, Allen, Maximilian L., Cody F. Wallace, and Christopher C. Wilmers. Bobcats are found over most of The United States, where ever there is prey, cover, and water. Types of Ecosystems for Rabbits & Coyotes, The Differences in Appearance Between Female and Male Bobcats. [64] American alligators (Alligator mississippensis) have been filmed opportunistically preying on adult bobcats in the southeast United States. I have worked with wildlife for over 20 years, and run the largest bobcat rescue in the country. Kittens had the smallest range at about 3 sq mi (7.8 km2). It remains in some of its original range, but populations are vulnerable to local extinction ("extirpation") by coyotes and domestic animals. The bobcat (Lynx rufus), also known as the red lynx, is a medium-sized cat native to North America from southern Canada, most of the contiguous United States to Oaxaca in Mexico. Generally, an off-white color is seen on the lips, chin, and underparts. In some regions of the country, agricultural expansion and deforestation may also both be issues for them.

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