- Every month, Mongabay brings you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, our show featuring animals caught on camera traps around the world and hosted by Romi Castagnino, our writer and conservation scientist.
Camera traps bring you closer to the secretive natural world and are an important conservation tool to study wildlife. This month we’re meeting the cat with the most extensive range of North American felines: the bobcat.
Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are nocturnal and solitary animals about double the size of a domestic cat. They are easily recognized by the ruffs of fur around the face and tufted ears similar to those of their larger relative, the Canadian lynx. The bobcat lives from southern Canada to Mexico in many habitats, including forests, semi-deserts, mountains, and brushland, but people seldom see it due to its secretive nature.
Like all felids, bobcats have excellent vision, hearing and a well-developed sense of smell that helps them locate prey. Their long and powerful hind legs allow them to leap as long as 3 meters to pounce on top of their prey. Bobcats live up to 12 years in the wild. The species is listed as least concern because it is abundant and wide-ranging. However, local threats such as habitat loss, hunting for the fur trade and disease transmission may present challenges for long-term persistence in some regions. Watch the video to learn more about this species!
Special thanks to research biologist Sean M. McHugh. You can follow him on Instagram at @seanmchughwildlife.
Banner image of a bobcat. Photo by Elaine Malott via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)