Researchers Need Your Help in Locating Fallen Off GPS Tracking Bobcat Collars

30 Jul 2018

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) implemented a short-term study on local bobcats last year. The goal of the project was to further understand how wild bobcat populations interact with their environment and how they are adapting to human populations.

In the fall of last year, teams tagged 50 different bobcats with GPS tracking devices throughout Connecticut, and they marked their ears with yellow tags. Field experts collected information about each bobcat including their estimated age, sex and weight.

These cats are crucial for the environment, and researchers believe that about 1,000 live in the state. Experts confirm that bobcats have more of an effect on smaller animal species than any other predator in the area.

In Connecticut, bobcats are an apex predator that consumes raccoons, chickens, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks and other small animals. Their preference for squirrels oftentimes leads them to suburban neighborhoods, so it’s important for residents to be on the lookout for these animals.

Soon, the first 50 collars will fall off the animals, and biologists are expected to reattach at least 20. Their data project will continue until at least 2020.

How You Can Help

This study has collected important data that researchers will continue to analyze. The GPS tracking units attached to these cats are pre-programmed to fall off the animals on August 1, 2018.

 This measure was implemented to ensure the animals were not harmed by the collar over time.

 Researchers are asking everyone who locates one of these collars to contact the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3045. Individuals who find the collars can also email using deep.ctwildlife@ct.gov, and they will make arrangements to retrieve it.

These collars will still be transmitting their location, so authorities will be attempting to retrieve them over the coming months.

DEEP is additionally attempting to research the diet of modern-day bobcats. Biologists are asking anyone who comes across a road-killed bobcat to call the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011. Biologists will then collect the animal and examine its stomach contents.

DEEP gives their sincerest thanks to Connecticut residents who have continued to help with their continued studies. Witness reports are crucial to the program, and the research would be impossible without hard-working volunteers.

 

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