A BOLO has been issued for Lynx rufus.
State residents should be on the lookout for bobcats. And those with small animals that go outside, especially after dusk, should be on high alert, animal control said.
The bobcat is most active just after dusk and before dawn, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
The bobcat is the only wild cat found in Connecticut and is the most common wild cat in the country, according to state officials. Historically speaking, bobcats have not been protected in the state and were viewed as a threat to game species and agriculture. From 1935 to 1971, the state even had a bounty on bobcats.
But in the early 1970s, concerns rose about possible overhunting of the species. In 1972, the bobcat was reclassified as a protected furbearer in the state with no trapping or hunting seasons.
In recent years, the bobcat population has climbed in the state. Sightings and vehicle-kill reports done by the DEEP show that bobcats are in all eight of the state’s counties — with the largest numbers in the northwestern corner of Connecticut.
On average, there are between 20 to 30 vehicle-kills of bobcats a year. Each kill is collected and examined for physical fitness, age and breeding conditions. All this information is compiled by the DEEP for its ongoing study into bobcats.
Residents should be able to recognize a bobcat by its stout body and medium size. Its most distinguishing factor is the short, bobbed tail — typically around six inches long. The bobcat has prominent cheek ruffs, tufts of black hair on its ears, and a white underbelly.
Bobcats are about two to three times the size of a domesticated cat. Adult males can weigh between 18 and 35 pounds and females come in around 15 to 30 pounds.
Bobcats are known to inhabit forested areas. They prefer brushy lowlands and swamps. Their territories can range in the Northeast part of the country from 8 to 20 square miles. On a daily basis, bobcats are known to travel anywhere from 1 to 4 miles.
When it comes to eating, bobcats tend to target rabbits, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, white-tailed deer and birds. To a much lesser extent, they’re also known to eat insects and reptiles. Bobcats have been known to prey on domesticated animals.
Bobcats tend to give birth to litters of one to four kittens in April.
Though bobcats might target domestic animals, they rarely cause issues with humans and human activity.
“Bobcat attacks on people are extremely rare,” the DEEP said. “Bobcats are not a significant vector of disease and rarely contract the mid-Atlantic strain of rabies.”
Those interested in helping the DEEP’s Wildlife Division with its ongoing bobcat study can visit: https://bit.ly/2uUlZkO.