February 2018 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-Observation of the Month


Bobcat running into the woods. / © Kyle Tansley

Congratulations to Kyle Tansley for winning the February 2018 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. His image of a running Bobcat was the most popular photo-observation.

Zadock Thompson, a Vermont naturalist, wrote in his 1853 edition of Natural History of Vermont that by then the Bobcat was “…very rare, being only occasionally seen, in the most unsettled parts of the state.” This would coincide with the decline of forest land in Vermont. By the 1870s, Vermont was only about 30 percent covered by forest. That didn’t leave much habitat for Bobcats, which are now more plentiful as forests have grown back. View a map of Bobcat observations in Vermont, and report your own to iNaturalist Vermont.

Visit iNaturalist Vermont and you can vote for the winner this month by clicking ‘fav’ on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!

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Comments (3)

  1. jeshawks says:

    Hi, Kent–

    I live in a little bit of a hotbed of bobcats in Shoreham, so I was intrigued by your bobcat map. I’ve seen them several times myself, and folks around here are pretty blase about them.

    The first since I’ve lived here, I saw a female closely followed by a very large male strolling purposely across the grass on my property on July 4th about 10 years ago, a jaw-dropping sight. The latest was spring of 2017, when a female chased my cat right across the front of my house next to the road until he dove under the porch and I screeched and shouted at her and she lost a step. It took 5 or 10 minutes and a lot more screeching and threatening moves to chase her from my front steps to the other side of my driveway, and more to get her to move off into the woodsy line between my property and the field next door. (The cat took all summer to recover his nerves)

    Anyway, there are several female territories in these parts and one male, but I don’t see them on your map.

    I haven’t the time or the patience to figure out how to enter these observations into your system, so I just offer them up for your interest. If somebody else wants to add them, that’s fine with me.

    These were close looks, btw, maybe 50 unobstructed yards for the initial two, and 10 feet for the latest one.

  2. Kyle says:

    Neato, thanks!

    • jeshawks says:

      I can’t help but be amused at the conventional wisdom about bobcats among nature writers that they’re “elusive” and “seldom seen.” Not around here. A friend in the village says a bobcat, probably female, used to cross the road in front of his car on his way to work most days. A mechanic down the road says a big male one summer several times walked right up his drive and spent half the day under a pick-up on his lot. A neighbor tells me a couple years ago, there was a big male (I hope not “mine”), obviously very sick, walking in circles for hours in a field in back of his house until he took pity on it and shot it. Etc.

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