Bobcats are gaining attention in New York, especially in Monroe County where there have been more and more sightings.
Muller Field Station in neighboring Ontario County, operated by students from Finger Lakes Community College, caught trail camera photos three years ago confirming bobcats in the area for the first time in decades in the Finger Lakes.
John Van Niel, a professor at the college said, “The bobcat is a new resident many people don’t know is here. I was able to tell the students, ‘This is new,’ and they were able to live the science, which is really great.”
Now observers in Monroe County, home to places like Kodak and the U of R medical school, have reported some 25 new bobcat sightings since 2007.
There have been no less than 11 different sightings in the county’s 19 towns, including the city of Rochester itself.
The towns of Parma and Sweden have had three reports each and four in the town of Mendon.
Mike Wasilco, a regional wildlife manager for the New York State DEC said, “They’re not out and about during daylight hours, and they’re really secretive. If they know there’s people around they’re not going to make their presence known.”
He went on to say that unlike bears, they’re not going to break into a house.
Officials from the DEC will continue to track the bobcats by the reported sightings and try to estimate their range.
Anyone who would like to report a sighting of a bobcat or other furbearer can use the website provided by the Department of Environmental Conservation.