New Hampshire’s bobcats are back

A bobcat feeds on a deer carcass along the Androscoggin River in New Hampshire, where their numbers are increasing. ©Flickr/Cappi Thompson

Not long ago, bobcats (Lynx rufus) were elusive creatures in New Hampshire, but TWS member John Litvaitis, an emeritus professor of wildlife ecology at the University of New Hampshire, has seen their numbers climb in recent years as the cats increasingly make their home in the suburbs.

“They are back in New England and at least as abundant as they were 100 years ago, if not more,” Litvaitis told the Associated Press. “They are adapting to a landscape that has changed. You have roads and people everywhere, and they have figured out how to get along with most of that.”

The news agency featured Litvaitis in a recent article on the region’s growing bobcat population.

“The resurgence of Lynx rufus comes during a shift over the past several decades from treating bobcats as vermin to be exterminated to being considered a top predator worthy of protection,” the AP writes.

Litvaitis wrote the commentary in the January/February issue of the The Wildlife Professional. In it, he describes the growing public opposition to hunting and trapping bobcats in a state whose Fish and Game Commission members must have hunting, fishing or trapping backgrounds.

“The time has come for consumptive and nonconsumptive advocates for wildlife to engage as partners,” Litvaitis wrote.

Read the article here.

Members may log in and read his The Wildlife Professional commentary here.