The bobcat, Lynx rufus, is the most abundant spotted cat in North America. This nocturnal hunter has been the topic of concern when discussing and debating the Management Plan for Bobcats in New York State. The Department of Conservation (DEC) wants to extend the hunting season, in designated areas,where viable populations exist.
According to the DEC website, "a bobcat population is now estimated to be five thousand" and "up to 20 percent of the current population could be killed by hunters and trappers each year without hurting the population."
Opposition to the Management Plan, are unsure of the stability to the population if the trapping and/or hunting season is extended. Yet, supporters of the Plan reiterate the growing population and diligence to monitor the distribution and relative abundance.
As I took the time to read the Management Plan I can see both the cons and the pros. To find a balance between nature and human encroachment, by way of residential development, is difficult in its own right. Further data collection will contribute in understanding the success of this management plan and ensure that the Bobcat will remain an essential part in New York State's wildlife heritage.