|“Wildlife on Hidden Camera” by USFWS|
This month I saw a few unusual New Jersey animal sighting stories in the news. One was a
"mystery animal" sighting in Ewing Township that was probably a fox that has shed its fur. Another was a news story about a bobcat that entered a house in Washington Township.
Bobcats typically avoid humans, so the incident is unusual. But bobcat sightings and encounters are on the rise in NJ. Later, in another part of the township, a bobcat attacked and injured a dog, and then a half hour later, police received a call that the bobcat was in a nearby barn.
Conservation officers snared the animal because they believed it was showing possible early signs of having rabies and it was removed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife for observation and possible testing.
Native New Jersey bobcats were almost extinct in New Jersey in the 1970s, but thanks to ongoing conservation efforts have been making a slow comeback.
Bobcats roam an average of seven miles a day, so they require lots of land. Car strike deaths is the leading cause of bobcat mortality in the state.
Having connected wild habitat for them is the best situation for them and would decrease their entry into populated areas, but that is a difficult task to accomplish in our densely populated state.
The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey is working to protect "Bobcat Alley," a 32,000-acre corridor of connected and protected habitat in northwestern New Jersey.
Bobcat infographic via www.nature.org click link for larger original