and its cousin, the Lynx (Lynx canadensis), are small to
medium sized forest cats. The Bobcat is the smallest member of the
lynx group, standing 20 to 24 inches at the shoulder and tipping
the scales at about 7-9 kilograms.
The Bobcat is broadly distributed across Mexico, the United States,
and southern Canada. Lynx rufus occupies the southern and
central interior of British Columbia. A coastal subspecies is found
as far north as Bute Inlet; its pelage is a reddish buff colour.
The interior Bobcat is paler and greyer, and it may be found throughout
the eastern half of the province, north to about Williston Lake.
The Bobcat is the only species of lynx to have a white tip on its
six inch tail, giving the animal its name. Unlike the larger Lynx,
the Bobcat has rather small feet and short legs, and does not do
as well in deep snow. It chooses to live in forests where there
is good canopy cover, or in some cases a warmer southern exposure.
Here they hunt small mammals, birds, and even some reptiles. They
are primarily nocturnal.
A litter of Bobcat kittens, ranging between one to four in number,
are born in late spring or early summer after a gestation period
of 50 to 70 days. They stay with their mother until their second
year, when they move off to make their own way in the wild and establish
their own territory.
the availability of prey, an adult Bobcat may need as much as 100
square kilometers of home territory to sustain itself, so they have
to set about finding a suitable area. They are typically solitary
and territorial animals, establishing their territories with scent
marking. Females never share territory with each other, but male
territories do tend to overlap.
The Bobcat is a secretive predator, rarely observed by humans, resulting
from its diurnal hunting habits. Keen eyes and ears, ambushes and
short bursts of speed make the bobcat the consummate small-game
predator. The diet is based mainly on hares, rabbits, birds and
small rodents, although scavenging on the remains of dead animals
is an important part of the diet of a Bobcat.
appear to be stable, as the beautiful little cats go about their
lives in the wilds of British Columbia.