October 2010

Bobcat Family: Over the years, anecdotal, and very informal reports of Bobcat sightings have reached the More Mesa Preservation Coalition.  Moreover, we have never received any written or photographic documentation of these reports. However this year, it has become clear that a Bobcat family is frequenting More Mesa.  The mother was first seen in spring, reappearing  later, in July, with her mate and two kittens (sometimes referred to as “cubs”). It should be noted that, although mating is usually the only time that adult Bobcats are together, this male Bobcat seems to be genuine member of his little family!

Bobcats normally mate in late winter or early spring; although mating can occur at any time. In April or May, the female gives birth to a litter of kittens; typically three, though up to seven may be born.  At birth, weighing in at 10 ounces, the kittens’ eyes are closed.  In about ten days, the eyes open as bright blue, changing to yellow as they grow older. Young are weaned after 2 ½ months and stay with their mother for up to a year.  She begins teaching them how to hunt at about 5 months old.

Speculation is that the cats are coming down from the foothills and following the creeks. The increase in wildlife on the flats that has been noted since recent fires, is believed to be associated with loss of habitat.  We hope that all those who are privileged to see these magnificent animals will remember they are wild animals.  Please respect their presence, keep your distance and refrain from harassing them in any way (as this could be detrimental to their survival).  We trust that as the foothills recover from fire damage, Bobcat habitat will be restored and this family will be able to return to their ancestral hunting territory.

Female and one of the kittens