Bobcats in Virginia and wildlife habitat loss in Florida are just two of this month’s topics.
There were 1,669 bobcats harvested during the 2010-11 season, an increase of 31.4 percent from the previous year. Of this total, 658 cats (39.4 percent) were trapped and 1,011 (60.6 percent) were taken by hunters. Because most hunter-killed bobcats were harvested opportunistically while hunting other animals, a variety of sporting implements were used. Most hunter-killed bobcats were harvested using a rifle (49.9 percent), followed by a muzzleloader (20.4 percent), or shotgun (18.8 percent). Other sporting implements included bow (7.5 percent), crossbow (2.8 percent) and handgun (0.6 percent).
The disappearance of nearly half of a South Florida rabbit species’ habitat due to rising sea levels illustrates the mounting dangers of climate change, according to researchers. The Lower Keys marsh rabbit was once abundant along the chain of islands between Miami and Key West. Aerial photos, however, from 1958 to 2006 show that 48 percent of the rabbits’ habitat has been lost because of sea level rise. Only a few hundred of the species survive on a few of the Keys, including Boca Chica, Sugarloaf and Big Pine, according to wildlife experts at the University of Florida.