A Warren County bobcat traveled 108 miles to Harrisburg, PA

WARREN COUNTY, NJ – One local bobcat must have had an adventure as it traveled 108 miles from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

According to New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife biologists, they recently learned that a bobcat that they had tagged as a juvenile in Warren County, New Jersey in 2014, was recaptured near Harrisburg, PA at the end of 2016, where it was legally trapped.

“The bobcat had traveled a whopping 108 miles (straight-line distance) from where it was originally tagged,” officials said.

What makes the news even more interesting is that the bobcat was a female. Generally dispersal distances of juvenile bobcats are more in the range of 6 – 25 miles, with males typically having longer dispersal distances, officials said.

The bobcat is an elusive creature found in the northern hardwood forests of New Jersey. Bobcat declined in the 1800s as forests were cleared for lumber, fuel and agriculture, and by the early 1970s they were thought to be extirpated (locally extinct) from the state. Between 1978 and 1982 the Division conducted a restoration project through which 24 bobcats were trapped in Maine and released in northern NJ, according to the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife website.

Today’s bobcats, though classified as endangered, appear to be fairly well-established in the northern hardwood forests of the state, perhaps even more widespread than many think. Their elusive nature makes them a challenge to study.

This bobcat had to cross over the Delaware River and at least three major highways on its journey to Harrisburg Pennsylvania.

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By: Jay Edwards
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(Photo Courtesy: NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife)