Lynx rufusBobcat

Family

  • Felidae

How long do they live?

  • Wild: 10 to 20 years
  • Captivity:  20 to 30 years

How big are they?

  • Length: 3 ½ to 4 feet
  • Weight: 13 ½ to 30 pounds

Where in the world are they?

  • Southern Canada, parts of Mexico, and the United States

What kind of habitat do they prefer?

  • Forests, mountain ranges, prairies

What do they eat for lunch?

  • Wild: Rabbits, rodents, birds, and deer
  • Zoo: Ground beef with a vitamin mix, chicks, and a knucklebone once a week (for healthy teeth)

Where do babies come from?

  • Females produce litters once every 2 years.
  • Litters consist of 1 to 4 young.
  • The kittens begin eating solid food by 2 months of age, and are hunting by the age of 5 months.

Special Adaptations

  • The bobcat has excellent camouflage. Its reddish brown coat blends in with the underbrush, and the spots and stripes help break up its shape.
  • Bobcats are good swimmers and can also jump up to 12 feet in the air.

Feline Facts

  • The bobcat, like most felines, quietly creeps up on prey to ambush with a quick pounce.
  • To take down prey swiftly, they have highly adapted teeth and claws.
  • Felines patrol a specific area of territory; in the case of the bobcat, that territory may be up to 40 square miles.
  • The bobcat is crepuscular, meaning it hunts and is most active in the hours before sunrise and at twilight.
  • Felines have scent glands under their cheeks and will rub on territory boundaries to mark them.
  • Many cats will claw trees at the border of their territories to let others know it is claimed.

Unique Characteristics

  • The bobcat gets its name from its stumpy tail.
  • Bobcats have a burrow or den in which it lives and raises its litter.
  • Male bobcats are unusual among cat species because they bring food to the mother and kittens in the den.
  • Bobcats look similar to their northern cousin, the Lynx, but can be told apart by their tails. Bobcat tails have a black tip on the end while the Lynx will have a white tip. Their range and other differences distinguish them as well.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN -Least Concern
  • CITES -Appendix II
  • Bobcats have been labeled as sheep predators in Mexico, and are frequently killed by farmers.
  • They are hunted and trapped for their fur and due to habitat destruction and ever-expanding human population, caused populations to decrease.
  • However, since the 1970s, the bobcat population in the United States has increased due to protection laws.

Sources

  1. Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 2016. http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Lynx_rufus/
  2. Appendices I, II, and III of CITES. (February 5, 2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
  3. Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed January 2016. http://www.eol.org/pages/328602/overview
  4. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search

Bobcat rubbing on scent