New Hampshire Bobcat Study in Cheshire County

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If you observe the persistent presence of a bobcat on your property in Cheshire County, New Hampshire Fish and Game 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 Cheshire County and bordering towns.

Repeated bobcat sightings in or near Cheshire County should be reported to Wildlife Biologist Ted Walski at Fish and Game's regional office in Keene (603-352-9669). Walski will arrange for follow-up contact by bobcat researchers as circumstances warrant.

This research depends on the successful capture of approximately 10 adult bobcats during the period January through March 2010. Each captured adult bobcat will be fitted with GPS telemetry collars, for study. Data from the collars will be downloaded remotely, or collected from the collars following scheduled automatic release from the animals. The collars will provide valuable data regarding bobcat home-range, habitat use and preference, seasonal behavior, and travel corridor use.

Bobcats will be captured in baited cage-traps. Upon capture, bobcats will be immobilized, examined, collared and released on site. A team of 6 authorized trappers has been established to capture animals on behalf of the study. UNH researchers experienced in bobcat handling, will immobilize and collar the study animals.

Experts advise that 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," adds Ellingwood.

For additional information on this study, visit the following web site put together by cooperating UNH researchers: www.nre.unh.edu/faculty/litvaitis/Research/BobcatWeb/bobcats.htm.

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.