With more and more of their natural habitat disappearing, wildcats, in addition to many other types of wildlife, are coming in closer contact with man. Learn more about the wildcats of North America.
He’s also the only species of wild cat that is not currently on the endangered list. The bobcat and the Canadian Lynx are occasionally though of as the exact same animal. They are both of the same household but different species. The bobcat is about twice the size of the average house cat. They have long legs, large paws and tufted ears. They get their name from the short, black-tipped tail which seems to be”bobbed” or cut off. The”tufts” of their ears are actually used like hearing aids and they have excellent vision. At one time the bobcat’s territory was broad spread of the US, however, their number have decreased over the years. Bobcats are nocturnal animals and are seldom seen by humans. The bobcats diet consists of mice, rabbits, squirrels, reptiles and fowl, including the farmer’s cows. They are many times considered as a nuisance and are shot by farmers. Many hunters will also kill a bobcat as they eat the quail, pheasant and chukka that many hunters take for sport.
Lynx – The lynx is actually the bobcats”cold weather” cousin. The Asian and European lynx are larger that the North American species, the Canada lynx. The Canada lynx are usually found, of course, in Canada and the colder parts of the usa. The Canada lynx is about the exact same size as the bobcat and has tufted ears also. However, the lynx has more hair than the bobcat especially around the face and feet to keep them warmer in the colder climate. Their toes are used as”snow shoes” and are larger and have more hair for added insulation from the cold and snow. There is a correlation between the number of snowshoe hares and the people of lynx. As the amount of snowshoe hares decline, so do the number of lynx. The larger Eurasian lynx will hunt deer in addition to smaller animals.
Ocelot – The ocelot is sometimes called the”Painted Leopard”. At one time they could be found throughout the southwestern areas of the usa. However due to their beautifully spotted fur, their numbers have been greatly reduced and has placed them on the endangered list. Sometimes you may see the ocelot in Arizona or portions of Texas. They are most frequently seen in Mexico and northern parts of South America. They are primarily nocturnal and solitary animals. The ocelot has short tawny or reddish brown fur with black spots and rosette shaped markings. Their face has two black stripes down each side along with their tail has black bands. They may be seen in the trees, stalking birds and monkeys. Unlike most other cats, they don’t obey the water and can swim very well.
Mountain Lion – The mountain lion goes by many names. He’s also knows as puma, cougar, catamount, and panther. The mountain lion is a powerful and feared predator. They are found mainly in the eastern and southern parts of the US, including the swamps of Florida. They weight approximately 120-140 pounds. Mountain lions prefer to prey on deer but may also attack and eat coyotes and other mammals such as raccoons and porcupines. Their range was removed in the Midwest and Eastern US, though there are small populations returning the states like Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas. Mountain lions have been known to attack humans. However, statistics show that on average there are 4 strikes and 1 death each year in all the US and Canada. Mountain lions are more likely to attack a person who is alone or a little child.
Few people will really come in contact with one of these wildcats in their natural habitat, but at least now you know a bit more about these wonderful creatures.