Scientific Name: Lynx rufus
Bobcats are a North American wild cat that can be found from the southern parts of Canada to Mexico’s northern regions. The cat looks similar to other members of the Lynx genus. Unlike many other wild cats, the bobcat is not an endangered or threatened species.
Bobcat Species Facts
The bobcat has black stripes on its legs, a black-tipped tail and black-tufted ears. The cat’s coat can range in color from gray to brown.
There are 13 subspecies of bobcats:
- Lynx rufus gigas (northern New York to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick)
- Lynx rufus rufus (eastern and midwestern United States)
- Lynx rufus floridanus (southeastern United States and inland to southwestern Missouri and southern Illinois)
- Lynx rufus superiorensis (western Great Lakes area)
- Lynx rufus californicus (California west of the Sierra Nevada)
- Lynx rufus mohavensis (California’s Mojave Desert)
- Lynx rufus texensis (western Louisiana, Texas, south central Oklahoma, and south into Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, and Coahuila)
- Lynx rufus baileyi (southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico)
- Lynx rufus escuinipae (primarily central Mexico, but also along Mexico’s west coast)
- Lynx rufus fasciatus (Oregon, Washington, northwestern California, and southwestern British Columbia)
- Lynx rufus peninsularis (Baja California)
- Lynx rufus oaxacensis (Oaxaca, Mexico)
- Lynx rufus pallescens (northwestern United States and southern British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan
Bobcat’s like living in forests, but can also be found in deserts and even swamps. Their prey usually consists of rabbits and hares, but the cat will also eat rodents, insects, chickens and even deer. They are twice as big as a domestic cat, with fur that ranges in color from gray to light or medium brown.
Bobcats have been aggressively hunted for their fur, as well as for sport. The cat is protected in the countries where it lives. The bobcat population is currently estimated at between 700,000 to 1.5 million.
Bobcat Conservation Organizations
Big Cat Rescue
The largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to the rescue and housing of abused and abandoned cats.
"...We are home to over 100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts...Our dual mission is to provide the best home we can for the cats in our care and educate the public about the plight of these majestic animals, both in captivity and in the wild, to end abuse and avoid extinction." Carolina Tiger Rescue
Nonprofit wildlife sanctuary whose mission is saving and protecting wildcats in captivity and in the wild.
Washington State zoological park promoting the preservation of endangered species in general, with a specific focus on the endangered & exotic cats.
International Society for Endangered Cats (ISEC) Canada
A 100% volunteer organization specializing in small wild cat conservation with an extensive online database of wild cat information.
IUCN/SSC: Cat Specialist Group
Advancing the understanding and conservation of the world’s 36 wild living cat species.
"...The IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group brings together more than 200 of the world’s leading cat experts, including scientists, wildlife managers and conservationists from 50 countries who are dedicated to advancing the understanding and conservation of the world’s 36 wild living cat species...The Cat Specialist Group is active in many of its own initiatives as well, focusing on the development of tools for the assessment of the species’ status, for the compilation and distribution of intelligence and for supporting the work of its members..." Louisiana Bobcat Refuge
Dedicated to providing rehabilitation and refuge to smaller exotic felids with an emphasis on lynx rufus conservation and research.
A 501 c3, never open to the public and doesn't breed, trade or barter in animals. Our sole purpose is 24/7 pro bono on call assistance for bobcats and smaller felids in need through MVA's, nuisance trapped or injured bobcats, abandoned kittens, illegally owned pet seizures or abandoned bobcats, voluntary pet relinquishments and retired zoo display animals. Some are rehabilitated and successfully released back into the wild, some have forever homes with the peace of no longer being put on display for profit. We are a referral source for LDWF, animal control government offices and the public. LBC is proud to have a current board of two zoologists/DD's, a master's degree teacher with a background in television, a Phd who was with the USGS,, two veterinarians with more than 60 years exotic cat experience and a few more amazingly talented individuals who bring all their experience together pro bono to work for the benefit of the conservation of these cats. The Roar Foundation | Shambala
The California-based Roar Foundation supports The Shambala Preserve and shares its mission to educate the public about exotic animals, advocate for legislation to protect them and provide a sanctuary for mistreated and neglected animals.
"...Once an animal is brought to Shambala, it remains here for the rest of its life. As a true sanctuary, we do not buy, breed, sell, trade, or subject our animals to commercial use. Our only purpose is to allow these magnificent animals to live out their lives with love and dignity. Each "Wild One" has the best human, nutritional, medical, emotional, and mental care possible..." The Wildcat Sanctuary
Provides a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspires change to end the captive wildlife crisis.
Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge
Rescue and rehabilitation of big cats that have been abused, neglected or displaced.
University of Arizona: Wild Cat Research and Conservation
Conserving the 36 species of wild cats, their prey, and their habitat in perpetuity and to promote vibrant human communities nested within biologically rich, life-supporting ecosystems.
In the U.S., the University of Arizona is involved in mountain lion population studies. International group activities include the Ocelot Recovery Team, the Northern Jaguar Project, small wild cat conservation projects, conservation of the Nambian caracal and Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society. Urban Carnivores
Information and education on urban carnivores in Southern California, including the mountain lions and bobcats.
This website is founded and managed entirely by Laurel Serieys, a Ph.D. student at UCLA studying factors influencing bobcat disease susceptibility, including rat poison exposure, genetic health, and disease exposure.