March 20, 2018
- as seen by -Eric Januszkiewicz
An encounter with a bobcat (Lynx rufus) is not something that happens every day. In fact, I’d never seen one in the wild until this moment.
While hiking in Yosemite National Park, I caught a glimpse of a bobcat out of the corner of my eye only 20 yards ahead of me. I pulled my camera out as fast as I could but the bobcat moved on. Then, I rustled some leaves on the ground. Just like any other curious cat, it stopped and turned its head with an excited look. I got this picture before the bobcat turned and continued on its way.
This was such an incredible experience for me particularly since I am about to start a study on bobcat genetics involving a population assessment in the Northeast. Bobcats have been extirpated from many locations within their original range, but they remain resilient – their numbers are increasing thanks to legislative protection. It is important to periodically evaluate bobcat populations to ensure their numbers are healthy and their genetic diversity is high.
Even though the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists their conservation status as Least Concern, bobcats remain highly elusive creatures. It was a rare and special moment to meet this one.