Fish and Game Wants Help Counting Bobcats

If you’ve got a trail camera and some outdoors experience, the Fish and Game Department could use your help counting bobcats – yes, bobcats.

Fish and Game biologist Pat Tate, an SEA member, weighs a sedated bobcat that was being collared in an earlier phase of research.

Fish and Game biologist Pat Tate, an SEA member, weighs a sedated bobcat that was being collared in an earlier phase of research.

While you might not think NH is home to many of the elusive cats, Fish and Game biologist Pat Tate said it’s quite the contrary.

“We know bobcats are statewide based on our roadkill collections and hunter sightings,” said Tate, an SEA member and steward.

The problem is, we just don’t know how many are in the state.

“Over the past two decades, sightings of bobcats in New Hampshire have increased and so have questions regarding the status of this species,” Tate said. “Without a good method to index their numbers, it is difficult to determine just how many bobcats are roaming the state.”

This effort is the continuation of a cooperative study between the University of New Hampshire and Fish and Game that has stretched across several years.

Tate noted that the number of bobcats is not equal throughout different parts of the state.

“This study is a way to index that and give us an idea of what the abundance is in each region,” he said.

To complete the project, UNH and Fish and Game have enlisted the help of New Hampshire’s enthusiastic core of outdoor volunteers, armed with the observation power of trail cameras. Camera sampling periods begin around Oct. 15 of this year and run through December. Volunteers must provide their own trail camera (preferably no more than 3-5 years old) and be willing to monitor for bobcats, following a set protocol, in a designated area over a 14-day period. Training will be provided and starts this week.

If you are interested in helping count bobcats and are willing to volunteer your outdoor knowledge, trail camera and time, please contact Tyler Mahard at UNHbobcat@gmail.com. Even if you can’t help with the count, you can still report bobcat sightings by clicking here. If you’d like to learn more about the bobcat project, you can click here.

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