Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

Image of Bobcat taxidermy mount.
Comeback cat

The Bobcat was nearly eliminated from Illinois by the mid 20th century, landing it on the state list of threatened and endangered species from 1977-1999. Today, Bobcats have been documented in every county but are most numerous in the southern half of the state. They are secretive, mostly nocturnal hunters that prefer forest environments for cover. They can be up to three-and-half feet long (including tail) and weigh up to 40 pounds (but averaging 22 pounds), making adult Bobcats larger than even the biggest house cat. Bobcats get their name from their short, four to six-inch-long tail. A pair will produce one litter of two to three kittens per year. Illinois instituted the first hunting and trapping season for Bobcats in 2016-2017.

The Illinois State Museum's Illinois Legacy Collection contains an extensive collection of taxidermy in its Zoology range. Much of this collection has been acquired from donors or from institutions that have closed. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the University of Illinois Extension service have developed a website to help the public coexist with wildlife and solve common wildlife problems. Living with Wildlife in Illinois also contains a wildlife directory with an entry on the Bobcat.

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