Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bobcats in Westchester Update 2.0

We've posted on two previous occasions (here and here) about our work to catalog bobcat sightings throughout Westchester County, NY.  In over 6 years of sightings collection, we have accumulated over 50 sightings from residents all over Westchester County.

View Westchester County Bobcat Sightings in a larger map

As you can see from our graph of sightings, we have accumulated nearly half of all sightings during the year 2011.  There are two sightings from 2012 that are not represented on this graph.

Bobcats seem to be increasing in abundance in Westchester and around the state of NY.  The New York State Dept of Environmental Conservation is in the process of updating their Bobcat Management Plan which is up for public comment until  Feb 16th.  The management plan (read the PDF here) has proposed new regulations and expanded opportunities for bobcat hunting and trapping as well as a wealth of updated population data for NY.  Whether you approve of or are opposed to hunting and trapping of bobcats, there is value in reading the management plan and submitting comments to the NYS DEC.

Though the DEC proposes to increase bobcat harvests in the state, including Westchester County, we plan to continue to provide safe harbor for this elusive and unique member of the Westmoreland Sanctuary wildlife population.  Last summer we conducted a few rounds of camera trapping to capture more photos of the bobcat(s) utilizing the Sanctuary.  It is our goal to figure out how frequently do bobcats utilize habitats on the preserve, and on which portions of the preserve can they be found?  Further work with cameras throughout the coming months will be helpful in shedding light on these questions.

In the mean time, here are some of the images we captured during camera trapping during the months of July and August 2011.  Click on the images to see them in a larger format.

If you have seen a bobcat in Westchester County, we would love to hear about it.  Call 914-666-8448 or email your observation to

Photos of the bobcat you observed are great too.  Here are some photos from our most recently reported sighting near Waccabuc, NY:

-Adam Zorn, Naturalist