Sunday, February 20, 2011
Wildlife Biologists verify more than 100 Bobcat sightings in Ohio
The bobcat is listed as an endangered species in Ohio and protected by state law.
The bobcat was found throughout Ohio during early settlement, but as land was converted for crops and communities the bobcat’s population declined. By 1850, the animal could no longer be found living in the state. A handful of unverified sightings in the 1960s marked the bobcat’s unofficial return to Ohio. Since 1970, state wildlife biologists have verified 464 bobcat sightings in 33 counties.
Verification of the elusive bobcat includes photographs of the animal and its tracks; encounters through incidental trapping, from which animals are later released; recovery of road kill and sightings by Division of Wildlife personnel. The majority of the 2010 verified reports occurred in Noble County and the immediate surrounding counties.
In an effort to further clarify estimated populations, ongoing Division of Wildlife research is currently utilizing scent stations and remote cameras for observation in several locations throughout southeast Ohio.
These efforts have been supported by the Wildlife Diversity and Endangered Species Fund, which receives donations from Ohioans through the state income tax check-off program and by the purchase of cardinal license plates. Individuals wanting to donate can also make an online contribution at wildohio.com.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at ohiodnr.com.