Bobcat population grows in Wisconsin

Courtesy: Mark Fiene

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wildlife experts say the number of bobcats is growing in Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that state Natural Resources Department officials gave the department's board a bobcat update Wednesday.

Nathan Roberts is a furbearer research scientist with the department. He says the secretive felines are hard to observe and track.

The department estimates that northern Wisconsin had about 3,500 bobcats in 2016, compared to 1,500 bobcats in 1980. Roberts says the population in southern Wisconsin is unknown.

Experts say the growing bobcat population likely has been aided by the state's regulation of bobcat harvesting through the implementation of a hunting permit system in 1980 in northern Wisconsin.

Roberts says he's confident the bobcat population will continue to thrive with the current level of hunting under the department's monitoring.

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