Bobcat In US: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Are There Bobcats In The United States?

Bobcat In US
Bobcat In US: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Bobcats are widely distributed in the US and are found in mixed and coniferous forests in the northern regions, coastal and swamp areas, scrubland, and desert in the southwestern regions of the US. they seem to occur in all 48 states of the US with the peculiarity of Delaware. 

Massive deforestation, expansion of urban areas, and shifts in farming practices and other factors led to the decline of mountain lions in the 1800s and 1900s, in a few areas of the nation. This was very severe, especially in the midwest and northeast regions of the country. 

How Many Bobcats Are There In U.S?

It is estimated that there might be around 1.2 million Bobcats living in the US. The exact number is quite difficult to estimate as the bobcats are widely distributed in the US and are found all over the country from the southern regions of Canada to the southern regions of the US. They are versatile and adaptable to living in different habitats throughout the country.

Are Bobcats Endangered In The US?

The quick answer — No. They are non-endangered species in the US as they are under the “least concern” list that is provided by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

There are over a million bobcats living in the US and their population is very steady, but a few declining. The only threats that are faced by bobcats are habitat loss and hunting by humans. Bobcats can be hunted anywhere in the country and historically, native people in the US hunted bobcats for food and fur. 

How Did Bobcats Get To America?

Bobcat In US
Bobcat In US: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Bobcats are believed to have developed from the Eurasian, which crossed into the US by route of the Bering Land Bridge in the Pleistocene era. With ancestors reaching 2.6 million years before. 

It first emerged in the Irvingtonian era about 1.8 million years back. The first-ever bobcat wave rolled into the southern region of the country, which was immediately cut off from the northern region because of the glaciers. 

The population then evolved into the current bobcat about 20,000 years back. The second bobcat population reached Asia and occupied the northern region, developing into the current Canada lynx. Hybridization between the Canada lynx and bobcat might occur sometime. The bobcat population present in the western and eastern regions of the Great Plains is likely to split in the Pleistocene era because of the aridification of the area.

Bobcat Population In US By State?

Alaska, Delaware, and Hawaii do not have any population of bobcats as Alaska has been very cold for the bobcats to have a habitat range, Delaware has had no bobcats since 1850 because of habitat destruction in the state. In Hawaii, there has been no historic or current data on bobcats living on the island. 

Outside of Hawaii, Delaware, and Alaska, a few states that have bobcat populations are Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin states that have bobcat population with 10,000 inhabitants. California, Colorado, Michigan, and North Carolina are a few of those states that have a bobcat population above 10,000 inhabitants.

Can You Hunt Bobcat In US?

Bobcat hunting is commonplace all over the US, with the peculiarity of a handful of states holding out. Despite the quantity of these cats in the nation, a few conservationists have been moving back on the hunting season. 

More than 5,000 bobcats are hunted in the country which is given out through hunting permits. Still, a few states, including Ohio and Indiana, have continued to ban the hunting of bobcats the state. 

Indiana, in 2019 closed their bobcat hunting season without any further notice. Similarly, Oklahoma has no solid number on the bobcat populations but the state allows its trappers and hunters to hunt thousands of bobcats every year. 

Many states like Colorado, Nebraska, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah similarly allow their residents to kill an average of a thousand bobcats each season.

Can You Own Bobcat In US?

Alabama, North Carolina, Nevada, and Wisconsin have no laws owing bobcats as pets in the state. Delaware and Oklahoma do not regulate owing bobcats as a pet but a permit is a need when owing one in the state. 

The other US state does allow the owning of exotic animals as pets but only allows certain species under the required permits that come with varying exemptions, conditions, and classes of enforcement.


And that was everything you need to know about the Bobcat in the US. I hope this article answered all your queries.

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