TODAY -

Precuation you should take & Preventing methods to save livestock
It could be a BobCat : Details description of Bobcat

Devikarani Phurailatpam *



Description

The bobcat is a medium-sized feline, approximately twice the size of a domestic house cat. It can be easily identified by its short, “bobbed” tail (up to 12 inches), prominent face ruff, and slightly tufted ears. Its coat of short, dense fur can vary from a #yellowish to #reddish brown with distinct or faint black spots along its flanks and white underparts that are also spotted with black.

In summer, the fur tends to be shorter and more reddish in color, becoming longer and much paler in the winter, although there can be much variation in color among individuals. Adult bobcats weigh 15–35 pounds and measure 28–47 inches in length. Size varies depending on sex, as male bobcats are approximately 33% larger than their female counterparts .The face appears wide due to ruffs of extended hair beneath the ears.

Bobcat eyes are yellow with black pupils. The #nose of the bobcat is #pinkish_red, and it has a base color of gray or #yellowish- or #brownish-red on its face, sides, and back.The #pupils are round, $black circles and will widen during nocturnal activity to maximize light reception. The cat has sharp hearing and vision, and a good sense of smell. It is an excellent #climber, and #swims when it needs to, but normally avoids water.

However, cases of bobcats swimming long distances across lakes have been recorded. The bobcat is muscular, and its hind legs are longer than its front legs, giving it a bobbing gait. The average size of a bobcat is 69 cm (Adult).They have long legs, large paws, and tufted ears similar to those of their larger relative, the Canada lynx. Most bobcats are brown or brownish red with a white underbelly and short, black-tipped tail. The cat is named for its tail, which appears to be cut or “bobbed”.

Tracks

Bobcat tracks in mud showing the hind-paw print (top) partially covering the fore-paw print (center) . Bobcat tracks show four toes without claw marks, due to their retractable claws. The tracks can range in size from 1 to 3 in (2.5 to 7.6 cm); the average is about 1.8 inches.When walking or trotting, the tracks are spaced roughly 8 to 18 in (20 to 46 cm) apart. The bobcat can make great strides when running, often from 4 to 8 ft (1.2 to 2.4 m).

Like all cats, the bobcat ‘directly registers’, meaning its hind prints usually fall exactly on top of its fore prints. Bobcat tracks can be generally distinguished from feral or house cat tracks by their larger size: about 2.0 in2 (13 cm2) versus 1.5 in2 (10 cm2)

Food, habits, and habitat

As carnivores, bobcats most commonly prey on medium-sized animals such as rabbits and hares but will eat mice, squirrels, skunks, opossums, muskrats, birds, and snakes. Occasionally bobcats will prey on larger animals such as deer but this is generally when other food items are scarce. Only sick, injured, young or very old large animals are likely to be killed. Bobcats hunt by stalking prey until they are close enough to pounce. They may also wait on a trail or in a tree to ambush prey or run down prey over short distances.

Although bobcats have a fairly good sense of smell, they rely primarily on their keen eyesight and hearing to detect both prey and danger. When food is plentiful, they will cache the excess by covering it with leaves, grass, or snow and return to feed on it repeatedly. Bobcats are shy, solitary, and generally elusive. While usually silent, bobcats can produce a large repertoire of noises. A bobcat may scowl, snarl, and spit when confronted with danger and may be heard screaming during the breeding season.

Bobcats maintain well-defined home ranges that vary in size depending on prey abundance, season, and climate. Males maintain larger home ranges than females and individuals can travel up to four miles daily. Both sexes use scent marking to mark trails and den sites. Their use of scent is thought to help individuals avoid direct contact with each other as they travel within their home ranges.

Bobcats can be active day or night but tend to exhibit crepuscular (dawn and dusk) activity. Their activity peaks three hours before sunset until midnight and again between one hour before and four hours after sunrise. They remain active year round and do not hibernate. Bobcats are proficient climbers and will climb trees to rest, chase prey, or escape from predators (chiefly domestic dogs). Like domestic cats, bobcats try to avoid water whenever possible but when forced to flee to water, they can swim quite well.

Behaviour

The bobcat is crepuscular, and is active mostly during twilight. It keeps on the move from three hours before sunset until about midnight, and then again from before dawn until three hours after sunrise. Each night, it moves from 2 to 7 mi (3.2 to 11.3 km) along its habitual route.The Bobcat is a solitary and nocturnal animal that is most active in the darkness of night, tending to hunt most during dawn and dusk. During the day, Bobcats sleep and rest in dens in the form of a rock crevice or hollow tree with one individual having a number of dens within its home range.

Relying on fencing alone to keep Bobcats away will not work. Bobcats are excellent climbers and can #jump #fences that are over 6feet tall. Use woven wire or a hot wire overhead to keep them from scaling or jumping your fence. This animal is the perfect #treeclimber and can climb upto 50feet high. They can climb a tree and #stay in the tree a longtime. They are very content up a tree.

Tips for residents

Bobcats are well-adapted to a variety of habitats, such as mountainous areas with rocky ledges, hardwood forests, swamps, bogs, and brushy areas near fields. Bobcats deal with human influences but tend to avoid areas with extensive agriculturally cleared lands that eliminate other habitat types. Bobcats are adapting to suburban settings and may be seen in backyards and residential areas. Bobcats rarely cause conflicts with human activities.

Preventing Conflicts

Bobcats are not often responsible for #killing #domestic #animals, but occasionally are responsible for losses of poultry, lambs, small goats, pigs, and house cats. Mostly, bobcats tend to use wild animals as prey items. Once a bobcat causes damage for the first time, it gets easier for the animal to do it again.

Where bobcats are deemed a problem, use the following management strategies around your property to prevent conflicts:
Don’t feed wildlife. This includes deer, feral cats (domestic cats gone wild), and other small mammals. Remember predators follow prey.
Prevent the buildup of feeder foods under bird feeders. Bobcats are attracted to the many birds and rodents that come to feeders.
Feed dogs and cats indoors and clean up after them. If you must feed outside, do so in the morning or midday, and pick up food and water bowls, as well as leftovers and spilled food as soon as pets have finished eating. Water, pet food and droppings attract small mammals that, in turn, attract bobcats.
Keep dogs and cats indoors, especially from dusk to dawn. Left outside at night, small dogs and cats may become prey for bobcats (which have attacked cocker-spaniel-size dogs).
Enclose poultry (chickens, ducks, and turkeys) in a secure outdoor pen and house. Bobcats will eat poultry if they can get to them. Note: Other killers of poultry include coyotes, foxes, skunks, raccoons, feral cats, dogs, opossums, weasels, hawks, and large owls.
If a dead bird is found with no apparent injuries, skinning it may determine what killed it. If the carcass is patterned by red spots where pointed teeth have bruised the flesh but not broken the skin, the bird was probably “played with” by one or more dogs until it died.
To prevent bobcats from accessing birds in their night roosts, equip poultry houses with well-fitted doors.
To prevent bobcats from accessing poultry during the day, completely enclose outdoor pens with 1-inch chicken #wire placed over a sturdy wooden #framework. Overlap and securely wire all seams on top to prevent bobcats from forcing their way in by using their weight and claws.
Bobcats can climb, so wooden fence posts or structures that give the bobcat footing and access to an otherwise unprotected pen will not be effective. Bobcats also have the ability to jump fences 6 feet or more in height. Use woven wire or a hot wire overhead if necessary .

Keep livestock and small animals that live outdoors confined in secure pens during periods of vulnerability. All animals should be confined from dusk to dawn.
(Temporary or portable fencing keeps livestock together so that they can be guarded more effectively.)

During birthing season, keep young and vulnerable animals confined at all times. Do not use remote pastures or holding areas, especially when there has been a recent bobcat attack. Remove any sick and injured animals immediately. Ensure that young animals have a healthy diet so that they are strong and less vulnerable to predators.

Livestock producers have discovered that scare devices, such as bright lights, motion detectors connected to recordings of barking dogs or radios will deter bobcats—until they realize that they aren’t life-threatening.

For a large property with livestock, consider using a guard animal. There are specialty breeds of dogs that can defend livestock. Donkeys and llamas have also successfully been used as guard animals. As with any guard animal, pros and cons exist. Purchase a guard animal from a reputable breeder who knows the animal he or she sells. Some breeders offer various guarantees on their guard animals, including a replacement if an animal fails to perform as expected.

Repellents, Fumigants, and Toxicants

No chemical repellents, fumigants, or toxicants are currently registered for bobcats.

Trapping

Trapping and relocating a bobcat several miles away seems an appealing method of resolving people/wildlife conflicts because it is perceived as giving the “problem animal” a second chance in a new home. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is quite different. Bobcats typically try to return to their original territories, often getting hit by a car or killed by a predator in the process. If they remain in the new area, they may get into fights (oftentimes to the death) with resident bobcats.

In many cases, moving bobcats will not solve the original problem because other bobcats will replace them and cause similar conflicts. Hence, it is often more effective to use the above recommendations for making the site less attractive to bobcats than it is to constantly trap them.

Trapping also may not be legal in some cities; check with local authorities. Transporting animals without the proper permit is also unlawful in most cases (see “#Legal Status”). See “TrappingWildlife” for information on trapping bobcats.

(Wildlife Protection Act)


* Devikarani Phurailatpam wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on December 05, 2018.



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