Historically, bobcats are known to occupy various regions of New Hampshire, especially in the southwest corner of the state. Today, almost every county of the state has a stable population of these wildcats.
Bobcats are one of the critical contributors to the balance of the state’s ecosystems.
Below I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the bobcat’s presence in New Hampshire.
Are There Bobcats In New Hampshire?
Yes, there are bobcats in New Hampshire. In fact, they are native to the state and have been habiting New Hampshire for a long time.
While there are about 12 subspecies of Bobcats found throughout the United States, the subspecies in New Hampshire is Lynx rufus gigas.
While these bobcats have been expanding their range for the last 20 years, there are some factors that affect these wildcats’ population density which include loss of habitat, prey scarcity, and habitat connectivity.
Where Do Bobcats Live In New Hampshire?
Bobcats in New Hampshire prefer to live in diverse habitats like swamps, farmlands, semi-deserts, scrublands, and forests with dense covers.
While they are known to inhabit almost all counties of the state, they are mostly found in the rural and suburbs surrounding cities.
As per various sightings, they are most commonly found in the southern and central regions of the state including the southern lakes region, seacoast region, etc.
As a solitary animal with an aversion towards human-populated areas, Bobcats often run away or hide when there is a human in or near their habitat.
This makes it difficult for wildlife agencies to track their population number and distribution in the state. However, as per New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, there are 1400 individual bobcats across the state.
How Large Is a New Hampshire Bobcat?
Bobcats in New Hampshire weigh anywhere from 15 to 30 pounds. While rare, some individuals may even weigh up to 45 pounds depending on their diet and the time of the year. Being a dimorphic species, adult male bobcats are larger than adult female bobcats.
As per various sightings, these elusive wildcats generally measure 24 to 49 inches in length and stand at 19 to 22 inches at the shoulder. Their muscular body and short legs make these felines agile and stealthy, two of these characteristics are especially important for wild animals.
While these creatures have similar features to that of domestic cats and are often misidentified as a result, Bobcats are almost double the size of domestic cats.
Are Bobcats Aggressive In New Hampshire?
No, bobcats are not aggressive in New Hampshire or in any other state. They are elusive, shy, and avoid human encounters. In fact, these creatures will run or hide if they sense human presence rather than attacking them.
However, bobcats are wild animals and like any wild creature, they too have a tendency to be aggressive when cornered or threatened. While these instances are very rare, it is important to take precautions to avoid negative encounters with Bobcats. It is recommended to avoid feeding them and give them enough space and warning of your presence.
Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In US
What Do Bobcats Eat In New Hampshire?
The diet of a bobcat varies based on the time of the year, availability of prey, and type of habitat. In general bobcats prey on small mammals that are easy to kill for a wild creature of their size.
Bobcats are also ambush predators that often travel in wildlife paths to find and kill its preys. In New Hampshire, these cats usually feed on mice, squirrels, raccoons, etc.
Though rare, these felines also prey on larger animals when they are injured or young like in the case of white-tailed deer, foxes, etc. Being a generalist, these wild creatures also consume reptiles and insects.
Can You Kill a Bobcat In New Hampshire?
No, you cannot kill a bobcat in New Hampshire. Bobcats are classified as protected species in the state and therefore it’s illegal to hunt, trap or kill them.
The hunting, trapping, and killing of this wildcat is regulated by the New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife Department. Special permits and licenses are required to participate in the hunting seasons.
However, if a bobcat is threatening your or your pet’s life, it can be killed with a permit from the New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife Department. In such a scenario the kill must be immediately reported to the wildlife authorities to help them track and manage the bobcat population.
Can You Own a Bobcat In New Hampshire?
No, you cannot own a bobcat in New Hampshire. As bobcats are protected under federal and state laws in New Hampshire, it is illegal to own a bobcat without a permit in the state.
As per the New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife Department, permits are required to own or possess these wild creatures. Moreover, these permits are only issued under specific considerations like for research, educational, and rehabilitation purposes. No permits are provided for private ownership of these wildcats.
Additionally, as these are wild animals, it is not safe to keep them in a domestic setting where their special requirements couldn’t be met. This could lead to potentially dangerous situations for the people, and livestock pets around you.
Therefore, it is always suggested to observe these resilient creatures in the wild from afar instead of trying to own them and keep them as a pet.
Also Check Our Guide On Bobcat In Missouri
What To Do If You See a Bobcat In New Hampshire?
Bobcats in general are quite shy of humans and avoid any contact with them. While they don’t pose a serious threat to human life, these wildcats occasionally prey on Livestock, and pets and may even harm small children.
Therefore, it is important that we are cautious and take enough precautions to keep ourselves and everyone around us safe including the wildcat itself. Some recommendations include avoiding feeding them, giving them space to run, announcing your presence through loud noises, and keeping pets and small children indoors, especially during the night.
And that was everything you need to know about the Bobcat in New Hampshire. I hope this article answered your queries.
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I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.