I love social media.
It gives an opportunity to connect with large numbers of people than ever possible and is a great way to get information fast.
As we all know however, not all of that information is correct and that seems to be especially true when it comes to wildlife.
Over the last couple of months, there have been several stories, photos and flat-out hype involving bobcats in Southeast Texas that need to be addressed.
#1: Bobcat Dangers: Due to bobcats being spotted around houses and near shopping centers there have been numerous threads about the danger of bobcats.
While these cats are indeed predators they are not a danger to people. Bobcat attacks are virtually non-existent (not including specimens with rabies) and if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone.
I have heard of people feeding bobcats in their backyards which is not a good idea. Any time you start feeding a predator the change for a bad situation arises. Never feed wild predators.
2. Lynx were stocked in Texas: There are rumors of Canada lynx stocked in Texas that have persisted for years but have gained traction on social media. We covered that here a couple of weeks ago. There is no basis for the origins of Canadalynx stockings in Texas as was discovered about the alleged timber rattlesnake releases in the Pineywoods and published first here in2003.
3: Bobcats are Rare: A few years back the estimated bobcat population in Texas was around 200,000. That is probably a low number. These cats are all over the place and their range seems to be expanding. Our research has documented bobcats in the city limits of Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. Bobcats are able to live in small woodlots and will do just fine preying on the rodents around garbage dumps and drainage ditches.
These amazing cats are present in our area and the more we push into wildlife habitat, the more we will see them. In addition, as previously mentioned, they have adapted well to city life. In fact, there is a major study being conducted in the Dallas/Fort Worth area about city bobcat life.
If you have any bobcats photos, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to run them in the Critter Cam to share with others the beauty of these incredible, adaptable predators in our area.
Whether you hunt, fish or simply enjoy viewing wildlife, encountering a bobcat can be an exciting experience. Just keep a safe distance and leave them to their wild business.
Chester Moore, Jr.