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BOBCAT } Lynx rufus

RANGE: From southern Canada to northern Mexico

STATUS: According to NatureServe, the species is Secure for now due to its extensive range but is threatened locally.

THREATS: Excessive harvest and habitat loss

The beautiful bobcat, with its spotted coat and unmistakable tufted ears, is a North American mammal in the cat family — and like all cats, is secretive and hard to spot. With 12 recognized subspecies, bobcats are adaptable predators that live in wooded areas, desert and semi-desert, urban edge, and swamplands and prefer to eat rabbits and hares, thought they will hunt anything from insects and small rodents to deer. Bobcats are territorial and largely solitary, though there’s some overlap in home ranges. The species still persists in much of its original range, but will inevitably be driven into smaller and smaller corners of its former living range as human populations expand and development displaces the cat’s habitat.


Photo by David Westphalen, Illinois DNR