Bobcat Study Beginning Second Year

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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is in the second year of a three-year study with Iowa State University investigating bobcat ecology throughout Iowa, focusing on an eight county area in south central Iowa.

The first year of the study resulted in placing radio-tags on 23 bobcats during the fall and winter trapping season. Currently, the study has bobcats with radio tags in Warren, Marion, Clarke, Lucas, Monroe, Appanoose and Davis counties.

The study found male bobcats home range averaged 58 square miles and up to 120 square miles, whereas the females averaged 10 square miles during the winter. Some juvenile bobcats have dispersed up to 49 miles from where they were born.

Todd Gosselink, wildlife research biologist with the Iowa DNR, said hunters and trappers are a vital part of the study. He said the DNR will work closely with trappers this fall to collect information on bobcats and to place radio collars on bobcats accidentally caught in traps in Marion, Warren, Clarke, Lucas, Monroe Decatur, Wayne and Appanoose counties.

The DNR has scheduled four public meetings to discuss the bobcat project. The meetings will also discuss the rare mountain lion sightings in Iowa, separating fact from fiction. The meetings are open to all public interested in the study and mountain lions in Iowa. The meetings are at 7 p.m., Oct. 12, at the Annette Nature Center, 15565 188th Avenue, Indianola; at 7 p.m., Oct. 19 at the Van Wert Community Center, 120th Street, Van Wert; at 7 p.m., Oct. 21 at Pin Oak Lodge, 45996 Hwy. 14, Chariton; and at 2 p.m., Oct. 23 at the Appanoose County Nature Center in Sharon Bluffs Park, 25100 520th Street, east of Centerville.

The DNR is asking the public to report any bobcat sightings in Iowa. Reports can be made by email to todd.gosselink@dnr.state.ia.us or by phone at 641-774-2958.

For more information, contact Gosselink at 641-774-2958.