What About Bob (cats)?

Living in your backyard: birds, bees, squirrels, raccoons and…bobcats? Yes, these big cats (well, more medium –sized than their mountain lion cousins) can call residential areas their territorial homes,  especially since their range stretches in fragmented habitats around Griffith Park, the Hollywood Reservoir, the Santa Monica Mountains and other SoCal green spaces.

Friends of Griffith Park has invited UCLA Biologist Laurel Serieys to lead a community discussion on the effects of urbanization on local bobcat populations, and find out how human residents can coexist with these elusive felines.

Held Thursday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Griffith Park Ranger Auditorium (4730 Crystal Springs Drive) in Griffith Park, Serieys will talk about the stressors facing these cats; it’s often an “adapt or perish” model that is reminiscent of how mountain lion and coyotes also deal with humans and our footprint.

Serieys has researched bobcats for 8 years and has been a leading voice in howanticoagulants are a drastic blow for bobcats that ingest the rat poison through its prey, namely rats, rabbits and other small mammals.  Rat poison is linked to cases of mange, an often fatal disease bobcats get from mites burrowing under the skin. (Remember those recent images of P-22 with mange?)

The evening, however, will not be bleak. Serieys will discuss ways humans can help the ever-adaptable bobcat thrive and be productive (they are the best forms of rat control out there, folks!). In addition, photos of wild bobcats will be for sale with proceeds going to support urban carnivore research (yes, tax-deductible).


Bobcat, photo by Barry Rowan
Bobcat, photo by Barry Rowan