State’s Bobcat Management Plan Comments Sought


New York State bobcat caught on trail camNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public comments on the draft 2024-2033 Bobcat Management Plan.

DEC says it has improved data collection and understanding of bobcat populations by conducting an age-at-death hunting and trapping analysis of bobcats in Central/Western NY, collecting hunter and trapper effort data, and collecting bobcat observations from the public.

Bobcats are solitary animals and may be active at any time, day or night. Males have larger home ranges than females, and they travel greater distances on a daily basis. The average home range of a male in the Adirondacks is 136 square miles. The average female home range is 33 square miles. In the Catskills, the average male home range is 14 square miles, while the female average is 12 square miles.

The new plan outlines strategies to continue the assessment of New York State’s bobcat population and hunting trends, and provide recommendations for the future of bobcats in New York.

The plan includes three main goals:

  1. maintain or enhance bobcat populations in all areas of the state where suitable habitat exists;
  2. provide for the sustainable use and enjoyment of bobcats by the public; and
  3. ensure that DEC is meeting the public desire for information about bobcats and their conservation, use, and enjoyment.

The updated plan does not recommend any immediate changes in hunting or trapping regulations but addresses information gaps by providing a review of existing data on bobcats and outlining strategies for improving data collection to help future decision-making.

A copy of the plan and summary documents can be found on the DEC website.

Comments on the updated plan will be accepted through March 2, 2024 and may be sent via e-mail or mail to ATTN: NYSDEC Game Management Section, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233.

Illustration: A bobcat caught on trail cam (provided by DEC).

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