Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Bobcats in South County

 Nearly ten years ago I started a project with my students to determine the bobcat population in  R.I.  We set up scratch stations at a number of locations in southern R.I. The stations consisted of swatches of carpet cut in rectangles with rows of staples surfacing from the backside of the swatch. The carpet was then saturated with bobcat oil and screwed into a trunk at the estimated height of the bobcat. The hope was to attract the animals and capture hair follicles as they rubbed against the urine soaked material. The staples would hopefully snag the fur with some follicles  attached. DNA could then be extracted, amplified, and fingerprinted to establish a database of individual animals in the area. Unfortunately, I sought the advice of DEM regarding the best locations for our stations. The response I received was one of incredulity. I was foolishly unaware that there had not been bobcats in R.I. for many decades. Exactly one week later there was a brief mention in the Providence Journal of a bobcat road kill in Coventry. This video was taken near Moonstone Beach Road last year. I will post photographs of a quite brazen bobcat taken near a residence in Matunuck, R.I. The long fallow bobcat project is once again ongoing.

                                                               Bobcat Video 



No comments: