Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bobcat Sightings More Frequent in New Jersey

Bobcat seen on a trail camera near Blairstown, Nov. 2011 via nj.com

A sighting this week of a bobcat in Boonton reminds residents that this endangered species exists in New Jersey and is making a comeback.

These cats, much larger then house cats and with tufted ears, are rarely seen by humans. They prefer to live in isolated large wooded and rocky areas away from homes.

The bobcat seen in Boonton Township was near the Splitrock Reservoir and is an area where deer, foxes, bears, and coyotes are not unusual sightings.

There have been a number of bobcats spotted in the area around the Picatinny Arsenal, a state zoologist told the Daily Record but they are most frequently found north of Route 80.

It seems that they are moving to other sections of Morris County. Although the bobcat population of this native NJ species is climbing in the state's northern region, they remain endangered in New Jersey.

The bobcat is a medium sized-cat, about two feet tall. It is larger than a housecat, but much smaller than the big cats like a cougar or lion. Adult females in NJ generally weigh between 18 and 25 lbs. while adult males can weigh as much as 35 lbs. Their fur ranges from yellowish brown to reddish brown and bears markings that vary from ‘tabby’ stripes to heavy spotting. They possess slightly tufted ears and a short bobbed tail (between three and seven inches long) that is black above at the tip. Generally they hunt both by night and day, although there is evidence to suggest that most hunting takes place at dawn and dusk.

The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife conducted a restoration project where 24 bobcats captured in Maine were released in northern New Jersey from 1978-1982. By the 1990’s reports of bobcat sightings began to increase. Today, bobcat reports from northern NJ are on the increase. Unfortunately, so are the numbers of bobcats killed by automobiles on our highways. During a one year period between 2008 and 2009, fourteen bobcats were observed on NJ roads and ten of these were hit by cars.

Bobcat feeding via wdfw.wa.gov


More info:  http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/ensp/pdf/end-thrtened/bobcat.pdf

12 comments:

  1. We found one that was killed by a car on Cozy Lake Rd in Oak Ridge this year. I took pics and reported it to the police dept.

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  2. AnonymousJune 29, 2014

    I saw a young bobcat crossing a street in Long Hill Township directly above Stirling Lake. I was in my car and hurried to see what the animal was as I knew it wasn't just an ordinary household pet cat. It was heading up a driveway, turned and snarled. I was absolutely stunned as I have lived in this part of NJ since 1977 and never saw such before. Good to see this article as no one believes me. In an incredible coincidence I saw a second one near my daughter's home on the outskirts of Allentown PA.

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  3. My wife and I observed a bobcat today on Split Rock Road close to Diamond Spring Road. It allowed us to approach to within about 15 ft from our car before vanishing into the trees. First one I've ever seen in NJ!

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  4. In 1995 I was waiting for the dentist and looked out of the ceiling to floor window just as a bobcat pranced by. The dentist was in Absecon, NJ very close to the water with thick bullrushes. They are further south than u think.

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    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 27, 2015

      I caught this weird looking large cat on my HD cam, can someone tell me if it is a Bobcat or a Lynx?!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZWoWUMDqVk

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    2. No "lynx" in NJ, but the bobcat is "Lynx rufus" scientifically and it is NJ's only wild cat species.
      http://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/index.ssf/2014/01/new_jersey_wildlife_bobcat_njs.html

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    3. Looks like a small bobcat to me.

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  5. thats definitely a bobcat in the video - you can tell by the tail

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  6. I saw one crossing Hainesburg Road, in Columbia,about 100 yards or so from the Route 80 truck exit.

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  7. I saw one in my yard in Hardyston Township, Sussex County at the end of last summer!

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  8. We have them in the southern end of the Ramapo Mountains between Wanaque and Oakland. They are sighted regularly.

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