Lake Carroll, Illinois — Last March we brought you a story of an area Realtor who was showing a house in Lake Carroll when as they were about to leave the showing, noticed a cat walking across the street.
But not just any cat. A Bobcat. Turns out this local Realtor’s bobcat sighting isn’t the only one of the region either.
The other day, as Bob Wittevrongel was out capturing a few images of nature, he spotted a few more bobcat’s. Ken Groezinger posted the below images of what Bob saw that day.
Bob’s Cats – Near Lake Carroll IL pictures by Robert “Bob” Wittevrongel
Posted by Ken Groezinger on Wednesday, July 12, 2017
According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Bobcats are about twice the size of a common house cat. They stand 20 to 23 inches high at the shoulder and are 30 to 35 inches in length. Weights vary from 10 to 40 pounds. Females average about one-third smaller than males. They get their name from a short, bobbed tail that is about 5 to 6 1/2 inches in length.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that historically, bobcats occurred throughout Illinois but were most common in forested parts of the state. Habitat changes and unregulated harvest caused their numbers to decline dramatically by the late 1800’s.
During 1977, bobcats were placed on Illinois’ first official list of threatened species. Bobcats responded well to protection and habitat restoration. During the 1990’s, a study conducted by the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory at Southern Illinois University confirmed reports of bobcats in all but three counties. At that time, bobcats were common in southern Illinois and expanding northward. Bobcats were removed from the list of state threatened species in 1999.
Illinois’ bobcat population continues to grow.
Statewide, the number of bobcats sighted by archery deer hunters increased more than ten-fold from 1992 to 2012. This trend is supported by intensive studies in the southern third of the state, where the number of bobcats increased from 2,200 in 2000 to 3,200 by 2009. Territories of the adult males studied in southern Illinois averaged about 8 square miles; those of adult females were about 3 square miles.
Today, it is estimated that as many as 5,000 bobcats occur in the state.
Cover photo: Bob Wittevrongel (edited)