Categories: Bobcat

Wild cat species in Wisconsin

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) with parts of the background colour of their coat looking orange standing on a log. Photo: Unattributed. In public domain (deemed).


The only wild cat species breeding and living in Wisconsin is the American bobcat. It is believed that the occasional mountain lion a.k.a. puma wonders through Wisconsin from the west looking for a piece of the landscape that he can call his own. These will be young males dispersing from their mother’s territory having become independent. Although, this must be a very rare event because it is a very long way to travel. I do recall, however, that one male was discovered travelling this far. The puma once roamed throughout Wisconsin but they were exterminated in the east of the USA through hunting. At one time they were considered pests and shot on sight but now they are protected to varying degrees depending on which state you live in. You can still hunt mountain lions with dogs in some states. In 2015 it was estimated that there were around 3,500 bobcats in Wisconsin with represented an increase in numbers from 1,600. An analysis of bobcat population size in Wisconsin was published in 2018. It says that 6,488 bobcat were killed for their pelts between 1983 and 2015. The scientist, Nathan M Roberts, concluded that the bobcat population in Wisconsin was stable in 2018. The study was carried out to reassure people involved in “harvesting” the bobcat for its fur. The man seems to have achieved that aim.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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