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Heartland Outdoors

Whitetails Unlimited Supports Bobcat Study In Illinois

Tue, February 20, 2018

Whitetails Unlimited awarded a $3,000 grant to the Western Illinois University for their study on bobcat abundance in Western Illinois. Typically, bobcats prefer prairie woodland complexes as habitat. Since Western Illinois is an agriculturally dominated landscape, this study will help determine how bobcats adapt to this environment. With the help of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Western Illinois University will trap bobcats between November and March and fit them with GPS radio collars. The collars will also help track other key statistics such population size, survival, and density.

Managing white-tailed deer populations requires an understanding of fawn survival and cause-specific mortality. In certain regions, bobcats and coyotes can be major sources of fawn mortality and may limit some white-tailed deer populations.

“Bobcat populations have been very up and down in Illinois over the course of the last 20-30 years,” said Whitetails Unlimited Program Services Director Russ Austad. “It is important to understand the characteristics and traits of these predators the best we can.”


I know this was done by WTU in good faith, but there are monies already in place for things like this via a grant from the furbearer fund. I’m sure anyone applying for this purpose would have no problem getting it approved.

I also have the six studies that have already been done down loaded upon my computer. Yes these are the very same studies that I sent to Miller while he was director. I’m not sure if mister Austad is even aware that these studies even exist, but he might find them very interesting. There have been many studies done upon bobcats in Illinois, probably one of the most studied furbearers within our state. Bob Arron’s a former ITA director was heavily involved in a program with SIU Carbondale in trapping , and radio collaring cats, lots of good data come from those studies. Yep, trappers have been studying bobcats for about the last 30 plus years.

I will say the studies need to continue due to the nature, and cycles bobcats experience. This is not like managing many of our other furbearers, much more sensitive to what is happening within their surroundings, and needs way more attention to mange the species properly. No matter what the studies so, good, or bad the main goal should be to manage the species to insure we have it here for generations to come. Saying that there may come times when changes are needed, and I feel we need to keep an open mind when it comes to managing this species.


Posted by Ringtailtrapper on February 20

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