New York DEC Releases Draft Bobcat Management Plan
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the release of a proposed five-year bobcat management plan for public review and comment. "The plan, once final, will guide the management of bobcat in New York State for the next five years, a wildlife species which continues to fascinate and intrigue both the hunting community and nature observers," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.
The draft management plan is available on the DEC website. The comment period on the draft plan runs through February 16, 2012.
The draft plan describes three primary goals for bobcat management:
- Maintain viable population levels and monitor trends in bobcat distribution and relative abundance;
- Provide for sustainable use and enjoyment of bobcat by the public; and
- Minimize negative bobcat-human interactions.
"DEC staff worked closely with trappers and small game hunters to gain preliminary input regarding the future management of the bobcat resource," said DEC Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources Kathleen Moser. "Input obtained from these groups was used by DEC biologists and managers to develop the recommendations and management actions contained in the draft plan, said Moser." The plan includes proposals to greatly simplify hunting and trapping season dates by making them consistent throughout much of the state as well as establishing new hunting and trapping opportunities in several wildlife management units in central and western New York.
While hunters and trappers are the most common users of the bobcat resource, wildlife enthusiasts, nature photographers, and others also benefit from a healthy bobcat population. As is the case with hunters and trappers, many wildlife photographers also view the elusive bobcat as being a "trophy" species and a rewarding challenge to capture on film. "As evidenced by the number of observation reports fielded by Department staff, the public is very interested in bobcats and can play a role in their management by facilitating the collection of data on the species," said DEC Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resource Director Patty Riexinger. "DEC strives to provide sound management for bobcat and other furbearer species for the benefit of the resource and the people of New York," said Riexinger.
Comments may be submitted in writing through February 16, 2012 to NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, Bobcat Management Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754 or by e-mail (type "Bobcat Plan" in the subject line).