Image of the Day: Bobcat Sighting

A camera trap snaps a photo of a wild bobcat in a location new to scientists studying the animals’ geographical range in Ohio.

Chia-Yi Hou
Apr 29, 2019
A bobcat photographed in Ohio by a camera trap. At this location, scientists had not observed the wild cat before.

Project Wild Coshocton of the Ohio State University is conducting a long-term camera-trapping study of wildlife in Coshocton and southern Holmes counties in Ohio, with emphasis on the recovering bobcat (Lynx rufus) population.

According to the organization, bobcats were believed to be locally extinct in the state by the mid-1800s due to habitat loss and over-hunting. Shauna Weyrauch of the Ohio State University at Newark says in an email to The Scientist, “[Bobcats] were listed as endangered in Ohio in 1974, and with gradual habitat improvement and protection against trapping, they began a slow recovery. Due to increased numbers of confirmed sightings (from road-killed animals, and increasingly trail camera images captured by hunters and landowners), the species was removed from Ohio’s threatened and endangered species list in 2014.”

The organization is seeking to understand the dynamics and patterns of bobcat occupancy at the edge of their range, as well as their interactions with the non-native coyote.