What are the bobcat natural predators?



by LORENZO CIOTTI

What are the bobcat natural predators?
© John Moore / Staff Getty Images News

The bobcat is widespread throughout North America, from Canada to Mexico, and is very similar to the Canadian lynx. The difference lies in the more colorful coat, spotted with brown and grey, the longer tail, shorter legs and the shorter tufts at the tip of the ears. There are also melanistic bobcats, that is, completely black, but they are rare.

As mentioned, the bobcat lives in most of the United States, as well as in northern and central Mexico, where it is abundant in the central plateau and mountains. Its southern limit coincides with that of the tropical forests. It also lives in the volcanic cordillera of central Mexico, but does not descend into the Rio Balsas basin. To the north the bobcat reaches as far as Lake Superior. Finally, we find it in the Canadian provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

What are the bobcat natural predators?

Besides man (now a threat to all ecosystems and all species), who can compete with this species widespread throughout North America?

Sometimes, bobcat is attacked by puma, as evidenced by several observations made by trustworthy naturalists, in 1941, 1949 and July 1950, in Utah. Sometimes these two predators can compete and clashes can even occur in which even a large predator like the puma can emerge with serious injuries that could permanently compromise its capabilities.

Bobcat
Bobcat© Sam Greenwood / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

Bobcats can also be attacked by coyotes and wolves. As with the puma, the outcome of a confrontation with a lone wolf is also very variable, given that the wolf also tends to avoid serious injuries.

The coyote is the bobcat's main competitor: it hunts the same prey and, like the lynx, it is extremely adaptable and inhabits practically the entire American territory. The outcome of the fights depends on many factors, including the size and aggressiveness of the feline and the number of canids present on site.

Bobcats occupy the bottom rung of predators in the Everglades, often being killed by Mississippi alligators, American crocodiles, pumas, American black bears, coyotes, and pythons.

The zoologist S. Young published a monograph on the bobcat in 1958, from which we learn the weight of the largest caught bobcats. It is probably the smallest lynx species although several males, larger than females, can reach considerable sizes and weights capable of rivaling specimens of its more northern relative, the Canadian lynx, and its Old World relative , the European lynx.