Types of Bobcats

Types of Bobcats
••• twildlife/iStock/GettyImages

Natural bobcat habitat is decreasing, meaning that bobcats are gradually changing their range and location. In other words, you may find your neighborhood is now home to bobcats. The type of bobcat you see is largely identified by your location. Bobcats live all over North America, ranging from southern Canada through most of the continental U.S. to southern Mexico, and there has been much debate regarding taxonomic classification of the species. As of 2011 the U.S. Forest Service recognizes the genus/species as Lynx rufus, and lists 12 subspecies of bobcat.

Subspecies

All types of bobcats are classified as Lynx rufus, then divided into subspecies.
••• Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Bobcats are classified by the genus/species Lynx rufus. According to the U.S. Forest Service the 12 recognized subspecies of bobcat are: L. rufus baileyi, L. rufus californicus, L. rufus escuinapae, L. rufus fasciatus, L. rufus floridanus, L. rufus gigas, L. rufus oaxacensis, L. rufus pallescens, L. rufus peninsularis, L. rufus rufus, L. rufus superiorensis and L. rufus texensis. Note that bobcats have been known to hybridize with lynx cats (Lynx lynx) as well.

Identification

All bobcats have tufts of fur at the tip of their ears.
••• Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Since all types of bobcats are the same species they have many common traits. All types of bobcats range in length from 65 to 105 centimeters. They all have a stubby "bobbed" tail, for which they are named. Their fur can be various shades of tan and brown, with darker brown or black stripes and spots. They have easily identifiable tufts of hair on their ears. Once you have established that the cat you see is indeed a bobcat, you can research the types of bobcats found in your area. Many subspecies of bobcat can be identified by their location. For example, L. rufus floridanus lives only in Florida and L. rufus californicus inhabits California.

Endangered Status of Species/Subspecies

Most bobcat types are not considered endangered.
••• Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

All types of bobcats are listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, or CITES. In other words, the entire bobcat species is not considered to be threatened with extinction at this time, but trade of their pelts must be closely controlled to avoid future endangerment. However, one specific type of bobcat, L. rufus escuinapae (the Mexican bobcat), is federally listed as endangered.

Types of Hybrids

Bobcat hybrids are appearing both in human homes and in the wild. In nature, bobcats and lynx are closely related and share the same genus. It seems that on rare occasion these two separate species are interbreeding. While somewhat controversial, reports of "blinx" are increasing, and the U.S. Forest Service officially recognizes that bobcat/lynx crosses exist. Cat fancier clubs are also now recognizing exotic domestic cat breeds that have bobcat heritage, like the desert lynx (a domestic bobcat hybrid).

Related Articles

What Types of Wild Cats Live in New York?
How to Solve Inequalities
How to Calculate Logit
Kinds Of Wolves
What Are Some Similarites and Differences Between Wolves...
What Are the Bobcat's Enemies?
What Predatory Wild Animals Are Local in Pennsylvania?
How to Do a Bell Curve on a TI
Do All Humans Have a Unique Genotype & Phenotype?
How to Solve for Sigma on a TI83
What Is MQ in the Metric System?
What Are Reciprocal Identities?
Examples of Genetic Diversity
What States & Continents Do Wolves Live In?
What Is a Congruence Statement?
How to Know if Something Is Significant Using SPSS
How to Calculate Eccentricity
Are You A Proud Dog Parent? It's All In Your Genes!
Difference Between Bobcats & Panthers
Definition of Successor and Predecessor in Math