Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bobcat sightings increase in Texas

by Jeanne Williams
Published September 17, 2006

CAMERON - Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials in Central Texas are seeing an increase in the number of bobcat sightings being reported, but they say the animals are not causing widespread problems.

Shawn Moore, a TPWD game warden stationed in Bell County for the past 22 years, said the creatures also are not a big problem in Bell County. He said increased sightings of bobcats are likely because of the drought. The animals have become more visible as they search for water and food.

Rural residents, especially those who raise chickens, geese or ducks, are likely to be more aware of bobcats lurking in their neighborhoods. TPWD has received some isolated complaints in Bell County, but nothing widespread, Moore said.

Opossums pose a greater threat to killing off poultry flocks than bobcats, he said.

“Texas Parks and Wildlife did a study on bobcats about 40 years ago,” Moore said. “They captured bobcats and examined their stomach contents, and they found that their food was birds, lizards, snakes, mice and insects. There were no bones from large animals.”

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