New Jersey is known for its amazing coastline, dense forests, and abundant wildlife. It’s located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and shares borders with New York, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The nation’s most populous city, New York City, lies just a stone’s throw away from the Garden State. Jersey City is actually considered part of the New York Metropolitan Area.
While the state is densely populated, it’s also home to some amazing wildlife, including coyotes, several types of songbirds, and even one wild cat. Read on for more information about New Jersey’s one native wild cat: the bobcat.
New Jersey is home to just one native wild cat, the adorable bobcat (Lynx Rufus). They weigh 15 to 35 pounds and have spotted coats and distinctive long tufts of fur extending from the tips of their ears.
The cats used to be found throughout the state, but they’re currently most often spotted in Warren, Sussex, Passaic, Morris, and Hunterdon counties. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection considers the Bobcat endangered. Bobcats are typically most active at night and prey on mice, rabbits, and small birds.
Although bobcats are not a threat to humans since they generally keep their distance, they can injure or kill small pets. It’s wise to keep cats, small dogs, and pet birds inside from dusk to dawn to protect them from the wild cat.
Bobcats are the only wild cat native to New Jersey. The area once had mountain lions roaming its hills and valleys, but the larger cats have been extinct since the 1800s. Bobcats are currently considered endangered due to rapid urbanization and the resulting loss of wild-cat-friendly habitats throughout the state.
Featured Image Credit: Jean Beaufort, Public Domain Pictures