Pat Tate: 603-868-1095
Mark Ellingwood: 603-271-2461
December 30, 2010
Adult male bobcat in Bow, NH; photo courtesy of Diane Lowe.
Researchers Seek Public Help in Locating Bobcats
CONCORD, N.H. -- If you observe the persistent presence of a bobcat on your property in the area of southern Belknap County, northern Rockingham County, western Strafford County, or eastern Merrimack County, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department would like to hear from you. Fish and Game is working in partnership with researchers from the University of New Hampshire to assess bobcat distribution, abundance and behavior in the area centered at the junction of those four counties and in bordering towns. This area ranges from Gilford in the north to Raymond in the south, and from Rochester in the east to Concord in the west. These towns constitute a significant portion of State Wildlife Management Units J2 and L.
Researchers ask that repeated bobcat sightings in this region be reported to Wildlife Biologist Pat Tate at Fish and Game’s regional office in Durham (603-868-1095). Tate will arrange for follow-up contact by bobcat researchers as circumstances warrant.
Researchers hope to capture from 5 to 10 adult bobcats this winter. The captured adult bobcats will be fitted with GPS telemetry collars, for study. Data from the collars will be downloaded remotely. The collars will provide valuable data regarding bobcat home-range, habitat use and preference, seasonal behavior, and travel corridor use.
Bobcats will be live-captured in baited cage-traps. Upon capture, bobcats will be immobilized, examined, collared and released on site. A small team of cooperating trappers approved and authorized by Fish and Game will capture animals for the study. UNH researchers and Fish and Game staff experienced in bobcat handling will immobilize and collar the study animals.
Bobcats can be difficult to capture, despite their growing abundance in our state. According to Fish and Game biologist, Mark Ellingwood, bobcats can become highly visible to residents from January to March, as increasing snow depth compels them to feed closer and closer to human dwellings in search of birds, squirrels and domestic animals including poultry. "If you have a bobcat frequenting your property and are supportive of our research efforts, we’d sure appreciate hearing from you," notes Ellingwood.
For additional information on this study, or to report bobcat sightings from throughout New Hampshire, visit the following website developed by cooperating UNH researchers: http://mlitvaitis.unh.edu/Research/BobcatWeb/bobcats.htm. According to Fish and Game's Ellingwood, sightings from throughout the state enhance biologists' knowledge of bobcat distribution and abundance and directly complement the study findings.
This study is funded with Fish and Game Department licensing revenue, as well as Federal Wildlife Restoration funds derived from an excise tax on sporting goods, including firearms and ammunition.
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