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A wild bobcat, just released from SWCC returning to the wild, suspiciously eyeing the camera

Lynx rufus

  • Habitat: Deserts, sage brush, riparian woodlands, coniferous forests, broadleaf forests, chaparral swamp - even suburban areas.
  • Status: Least concern
  • Population Trend: Stable
  • Diet: An obligate carnivore, their food of choice is rabbit, but they will eat birds, rodents, lizards, snakes, and carrion
  • Weight: 15 - 30 lbs.
  • Height: 20" tall; 2' - 2.5' in length
  • Lifespan: 10 - 13 years in the wild; up to 25 years in human care
  • Wild population in Arizona: ~66,000
  • In the Southwest Wildlife Sanctuary: 6
  • Interesting Facts:
    •  The black and white marks on the backs of a bobcat's ears are “false eyes”. False eyes are common in nature and appear on all kinds of animals, from birds to butterflies. They are meant to deceive potential predators to look like an animal with larger eyes are looking at them.
    •  Bobcats are the most abundant species of wildcat in the United States.
    •  The bobcat is often confused with its cousin, the lynx, as both share a tannish brown coat with dark spots or lined markings. The differences between the two species are in the details. Bobcats have short, pointy dark tufts of hair on the tops of their ears and fluffy tufts of hair on their cheeks. Bobcats also have short, bobbed tails that are four to seven inches in length.