Noble County leads Ohio with bobcat sightings

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ATHENS, Ohio — Increased evidence of bobcats living in Ohio’s southeastern counties continues, with the confirmation of 92 sightings by state wildlife officials during 2009, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

Increase in sightings

The reports show an increase from the 65 verified sightings in 2008.

The bobcat was found throughout Ohio during early settlement, but as land was converted for crops and communities the bobcat’s population declined.

By 1850, the animal could no longer be found living in the state. A handful of unverified sightings in the 1960s marked the bobcat’s unofficial return to Ohio.

Since 1970, state wildlife biologists have verified 359 bobcat sightings in 31 counties.

Verification

Verification of the elusive bobcat includes photographs of the animal and its tracks; encounters through incidental trapping, from which animals are later released; recovery of road kill and sightings by Division of Wildlife personnel.

The majority of the 2009 verified reports occurred in Noble County and the immediate surrounding counties.

In an effort to further clarify estimated populations, ongoing Division of Wildlife research is currently utilizing scent stations and remote cameras for observation in several locations throughout southeast Ohio.

The bobcat is listed as an endangered species in Ohio and protected by state law.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Although I’m not an ODNR person, I’ll submit this one–a yearling bobcat that leapt in front of our car in Whipple, Ohio, near the junction of OH 821 and I-77, at 7:15 pm on February 4, 2010. I also have good photos of bobcat tracks and scat from our 80-acre nature preserve in Whipple, OH (near the Noble Co. line). Happy to provide them if you are interested.
    The cat made it across just fine, BTW. My first Ohio bobcat! I’d seen them in TX and ND, and my daughter Phoebe, who was first to ID it, had just seen a pair in FL that week!
    I’m excited that we’ve got a growing population of this wonderful animal. Still waiting to hear the fabled scream…

  2. Around 6-7yrs ago I was muzzle loader deer hunting on the Washington/Noble county line. I came over a rock pile to the spoil bank level of an old strip mine. There was a beaver pond there and something was lying on the beaver mound. I was only about 25 yards away from the beaver pond. When the animal stood up it became clear that it was a bobcat. It was fairly good size, bigger than I thought it would be. It looked around and once it saw me it ran off very quickly. Thant night my fellow hunting buddies laughed at me and tried to tell me what I must have seen. Some of ushave hunted this private ground for over 30 years and no-one had never seen a bobcat before and they thought I was mistaken. The next year 3 other hunters in my group saw the bobcat in the same general area, basically on the same mountain. I guess I knew what I saw after all. I have yet to see it again, but have not hunted area much lately due to some of our hunting buddies health issues.

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