Home Animals Bobcats in Georgia (Detailed)

Bobcats in Georgia (Detailed)

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Georgia is home to a variety of wildlife, including a number of different types of cats. One type of cat that is often seen in Georgia is the bobcat. Bobcats are relatively small cats, with short tails and spotted coats. 

Bobcats

Bobcats in Georgia

The bobcat is a North American mammal of the cat family Felidae, appearing during the Irvingtonian stage of around 1.8 million years ago. With twelve recognized subspecies, it ranges from southern Canada to northern Mexico, including most of the continental United States. The bobcat is an adaptable predator that inhabits wooded areas, as well as semi-desert, urban edge, forest edges and swampland environments. It persists in much of its original range and populations are healthy overall

Are there Bobcats in Georgia?

Believe it or not, there are actually bobcats in Georgia! Although they are not nearly as common as the more commonly seen deer or squirrel, these shy creatures do call the state home. In this article, we will talk about their bobcat in Georgia and their fascinating facts

Are Bobcats a Problem in Georgia?

Bobcats are generally nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active at night. While they typically avoid humans, there have been sightings of Bobcats in residential areas in Georgia. In some cases, these animals have even attacked people or pets. Therefore, some people view Bobcats as a problem in the state. In order to protect the public, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has issued a special permit that allows for the hunting of Bobcats. While this may help to reduce the number of these animals in Georgia, it is important to remember that Bobcats are just one type of wildlife that can be found in the state. 

bobcat in wild

Hunting Of bobcats in Georgia

Bobcats species is relatively common and does not appear to be declining overall it is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. However local populations could decline when hunted excessively or persecuted because they are often assumed incorrectly to take livestock” such as poultry or sheep” when many other potential predators are present or more likely to be the culprits.” 

In some states like Georgia, “bobcat hunting seasons are regulated by law to help ensure enough animals remain for their ecological role and human enjoyment while still allowing recreational hunting.” For example “the season in Georgia typically runs from October 1 through February 28 with a bag limit of one male or female per permit holder per year.” Trapping “with either foot-locking traps or Conibear traps set in runways” is also commonly used to control local populations when considered necessary by wildlife management agencies.

Are Bobcats Aggressive in Georgia? Do they attack humans?

Bobcats are shy, reclusive animals that are rarely seen by humans. However, they are sometimes forced into areas inhabited by people when their natural habitats are destroyed by development.  There have been a few reports of bobcats attacking humans in Georgia. In most cases, these attacks have been the result of the bobcats feeling threatened or cornered. Also, there have also been reports of bobcats attacking small children. Bobcats typically avoid contact with humans, but they can be dangerous if they feel threatened. 

bobcat on tree

Habitat

Bobcats in Georgia inhabit a wide variety of habitats including mountainous regions, coastal marshes and swamps, bottomland hardwood forests and occasional suburban areas. In agricultural areas, they typically avoid cleared fields and prefer hunting along field edges.” Bobcats will also actively seek out prey in creeks, drainage ditches and other wetlands. 

Diet

Bobcats will primarily hunt at night; however, they will also hunt during the day. Their diet consists mainly of rabbits and hares; however small mammals such as rodents, squirrels opossums and raccoons make up a significant portion of their diet as well. Birds include quail, doves chickens and waterfowl.” Live traps baited with chicken or rabbit meat are commonly used to capture bobcats for research or relocation purposes. Despite their compact size, bobcats are powerful predators that are capable of taking down prey much larger than themselves. 

Lifespan

In Georgia, the average lifespan of a bobcat is between 6 and 8 years old. Males typically live shorter lives than females, with an average lifespan of only 4 to 5 years. Bobcats in captivity can live up to 20 years old. The oldest recorded bobcat in the wild was 15 years old. Bobcats in the wild typically die from predation, vehicle collisions, or disease. In captivity, Bobcats typically die from old age or disease.

bobcat on tree 1

Size and weight 

Bobcats are relatively small animals, averaging about twice the size of a typical house cat. However, they can vary quite a bit in size, with some individuals reaching up to twice the average weight. Bobcats in Georgia typically weigh between 10 and 20 pounds, though males are usually larger than females. The largest bobcat on record weighed in at just over 30 pounds. Bobcats are solitary animals, and each individual has a large home range that can overlap with those of other bobcats. However, they generally avoid contact with one another except during mating season.

Predators

One of the most feared predators of the bobcat is the coyote. Coyotes are larger than bobcats, but they share many of the same hunting and scavenging habits. Both animals will hunt alone or in packs, and they will readily eat carrion if they come across it. Coyotes will also attack bobcats, though they typically avoid direct confrontations if possible. Another predator of the bobcat is the mountain lion, which is also known as the puma or cougar.

These large cats are found throughout North and South America, and they have been known to attack and kill bobcats. Bobcats have also been known to fall prey to foxes, eagles, and owls. However, their greatest threat comes from humans, who often hunt them for their fur. 

References:

https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/environment/reclusive-bobcat-common-georgia-but-seldom-seen/YuSZUagsCGc88Sv8Eq7L2I/
https://www.wsbtv.com/news/bobcat-seen-prowling-fulton-county-neighborhood/BEZW44XJKJGHTAEESZ5ORORJYA/
http://gawildlife.uga.edu/index.php?page=speciespages/species_page&key=frufus

Author Profile
Jeevan Kodiyan
Zoologist | Wildlife Conservation at Animals Research

An animal enthusiast with an interest in zoology, studying the behavior and activities of animals in the wild habitat. I work on research projects related to species conservation and endangered species protection. I also leverage zoology to become an educator, educating others about the importance of protecting our natural environment and the beauty of animals in their natural habitats.

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