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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Monday 01/17/2011 In the depth of winter

Wow what a difference a day can make. We had no winter to speak of on Tuesday. I was very lucky to be called by a trapper friend who had captured a bobcat in a cage trap for the Fish and Game Department funded UNH bobcat study. Last year a dozen bobcats were captured and fixed with radio collars in the Keene area. This year the study area has been moved over to this area. I was quick to drive the half hour near lake Winnipesauke where the crew from UNH and F&G was just beginning to work up the nice 32 pound male. I have handled just a couple of live bobcats over my career so I was anxious to watch the collaring of this one. Within a half hour or so the cat was weighted, measured, a DNA sample taken and he was fitted with a radio collar that will provide crucial information on the habitat use and needs of our bobcats. He was quickly given another drug to reverse the tranquilizer and was quickly away none the worse for it all.

And the very next day winter arrived. Close to two feet of snow here. I can't help but wonder about how the bobcat will survive the deep fluffy snow. As an adult he likely will. But with snow this deep and fluffy juveniles and smaller adults will not. Winter is the equalizer of all wildlife. Sixty percent or more of the juvenile bobcats, coyotes and others will die if the deep fluffy snow lasts long. And this snow will put the deer into their winter yards until we have a thaw or a hard crust. But we are lucky to not have had much of a winter to date so most critters have fared well so far this winter around here. I just can't help but wonder how animals survive these conditions as I relax in my warm house stocked with food. And I think of the mother bears I have watched in their dens. Sitting on the back end cuddling their cubs on their belly and shivering. So many animals shiver all night to stay warm.


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