Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Ranger Zach
National Park Service 

Bobcat Kittens Born In Santa Monica Mountains

North American Wildcat Recovering Population, Hemmed In By City of Los Angeles

 

Clicking on this photo will take you to the adorable Bobcat kitten video!

Studying the movements of animals can reveal certain behaviors. Earlier this spring, biologist Joanne Moriarty saw something familiar with Bobcat-339. Her GPS points indicated denning. So we went to check it out last month and, lo and behold, kittens! Meet B-340 and B-341, residents of the central Santa Monica Mountains.

We found the brothers in a commandeered woodrat nest, took samples and measurements, placed ear tags, returned them, and set up a camera trap to monitor for mom's return. They eventually moved elsewhere, making room for someone else to return (watch the video to find out who!). - Ranger Zach.

Link to video: https://www.facebook.com/santamonicamtns/videos/10153698030598660/

The bobcat (Lynx rufus) is a North American cat that appeared during the Irvingtonian stage of around 1.8 million years ago. Containing 12 recognized subspecies, it ranges from southern Canada to central Mexico, including most of the continental United States. The bobcat is an adaptable predator that inhabits wooded areas, as well as semidesert, urban edge, forest edges, and swampland environments. It remains in some of its original range, but local populations are vulnerable to extirpation by coyotes and domestic animals. The bobcat is vital for controlling pest populations. With a gray to brown coat, whiskered face, and black-tufted ears, the bobcat resembles the other species of the mid-sized Lynx genus. It is smaller on average than the Canada lynx, with which it shares parts of its range, but is about twice as large as the domestic cat. It has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby tail, from which it derives its name.

Clicking on this photo will take you to the adorable Bobcat kitten video!

Though the bobcat prefers rabbits and hares, it will hunt anything from insects, chickens, geese and other birds and small rodents to deer. Prey selection depends on location and habitat, season, and abundance. Like most cats, the bobcat is territorial and largely solitary, although with some overlap in home ranges. It uses several methods to mark its territorial boundaries, including claw marks and deposits of urine or feces. The bobcat breeds from winter into spring and has a gestation period of about two months.

Although bobcats have been hunted extensively by humans, both for sport and fur, their population has proven resilient though declining in some areas. The elusive predator features in Native American mythology and the folklore of European settlers.

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018

Rendered 09/16/2018 10:47