(Post 3 of 3) After the bobcat walked under the guard rail directly below me it crossed the road and walked into the woods. I moved to a spot slightly ahead of the direction in which it was moving and crouched down behind some vegetation. It slowly passed in front of my position and allowed for me to get one last shot off before making its way off into thicker brush disappearing into the rapidly darkening forest. This experience was truly incredible and was one of the best moments of my life. It was a really special moment for me. I hope this species thrives in New Jersey and I have more opportunities to appreciate them in their natural habitat. I hope this bobcat has a long happy life.
In New Jersey bobcats are an endangered species. They are extremely shy animals that are rarely seen by humans. They were once widespread and common In New Jersey, probably occurring in all counties. European settlement was devastating to the bobcat population due to relentless hunting. Rapid development, and massive deforestation has also led to their decline. As forests were cleared for lumber, fuel, and agricultural use bobcat habitat became fragmented and populations were isolated and plummeted. •
The Nature Conservancy is currently In the process of preserving land in Northwestern New Jersey in order to help the bobcat population in the state. The population is currently estimated to be about 250-280 individuals in the state. The “Bobcat Alley” will help the wild cats move unimpeded across northwestern New Jersey. Once completed, around 400,000 acres of protected habitat will be linked between New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. - 11 hours ago