The Bobcat, Lynx, Ocelot and the Puma or Cougar are considered native to North America. With more and more of the natural habitat disappearing, wildcats, in addition to many other kinds of wildlife, are coming in closer contact with man. Find out More about the wildcats of North America.
He is also the only species of wild cat that is not currently on the endangered list. The bobcat and the Canadian Lynx are sometimes though of as the same animal. They’re both of the same household but different species. The bobcat is about double the size of the average house cat. They have long legs, large paws and tufted ears. They get their name from the brief, black-tipped tail which appears to be”bobbed” or cut off. The”tufts” of their ears are now used like hearing aids and they have excellent vision. At one time the bobcat’s land was broad spread of the US, however, their number have diminished over the years. Bobcats are nocturnal animals and are rarely seen by humans. The bobcats diet consists of mice, rabbits, squirrels, reptiles and fowl, including the farmer’s cows. They are many times considered as a nuisance and are shot by farmers. Many hunters will also kill a bobcat since they eat the quail, pheasant and chukka that lots of hunters take for sport.
Lynx – The lynx is actually the bobcats”cold weather” cousin. They are actually several species of lynx. The European and Asian lynx are larger that the North American species, the Canada lynx. The Canada lynx are generally found, of course, in Canada and the colder parts of the US. The Canada lynx is about the exact same size as the bobcat, and it has tufted ears also. However, the lynx has more hair than the bobcat especially around the face and feet to keep them warmer in the colder climate. Their toes are used as”snow shoes” and are bigger and have more hair for extra insulation from the cold and snow. The Canada lynx diet consists mainly on snowshoe hares. There’s a correlation between the number of snowshoe hares and the people of lynx. As the amount of snowshoe hares decline, so do the amount of lynx. The larger Eurasian lynx will search for deer as well as smaller animals.
Ocelot – The ocelot is sometimes referred to as the”Painted Leopard”. At one time they could be found throughout the southwestern parts of the usa. However because of their attractively spotted fur, their numbers have been greatly reduced and has placed them on the endangered list. Occasionally you may see the ocelot in Arizona or parts of Texas. They are most commonly found in Mexico and northern parts of South America. They are primarily nocturnal and solitary animals. The ocelot has brief tawny or reddish brown fur with black spots and rosette shaped markings. Their face has two black stripes down each side and their tail has black bands. They can be seen in the trees, stalking birds and monkeys. They also eat small mammals and rodents, frogs, fish and a number of reptiles. Unlike most other cats, they do not obey the water and can swim very well.
Mountain Lion – The mountain lion goes by many names. They are found mainly in the southern and eastern parts of the US, including the swamps of Florida. Mountain lions are beautiful animals with a tawny colored coat with no markings. They weight approximately 120-140 lbs. Mountain lions prefer to prey on deer but may also attack and consume coyotes and other mammals such as raccoons and porcupines. Their range has been eliminated in the Midwest and Eastern US, though there are small populations returning the states such as Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas. Mountain lions are known to attack people. However, statistics show that on average there are only 4 attacks and one death each year in all the US and Canada. Mountain lions will be more likely to attack someone who is alone or a little child.
Few people will actually come in contact with one of these wildcats in their natural habitat, but at least now you know a little more about these wonderful creatures.