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The Illinois Bobcat Foundation is proud to support the continued bobcat research at WIU with a recent donation to fund the purchase of ten additional VHF radio collars. These collars will be used as part of their bobcat survival monitoring, which is ongoing until 2019. Preliminary findings estimated annual survival is 51 percent.

Quarterly reports of this research can be reviewed via Dr. Jacques Wildlife Ecology Lab website: http://cn-jacques.wixsite.com/jacqueslab/reports

 

The holiday season is upon us! In the coming weeks, it will be hard to focus on the real meaning of the season with so many events, messages – and yes, appeals – bombarding us.

“Giving Tuesday’ is a movement that started in recent years as a response to the commercialization and consumerism of the post-Thanksgiving shopping bonanza beginning with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Everybody loves a bargain, but with so much attention focused on buying, it’s hard to remember the spirit of giving that’s at the heart of the holiday season.

November 28, we’re joining that national day of generosity. #GivingTuesday. It’s a day when you can make an impact on the Illinois Bobcat Foundation and the bobcats in Illinois.

With your help, we’ll raise funds to continue to advocate, educate, and help fund additional research for bobcats in Illinois.

What have we accomplished in 2017?

  • Raised money to fund seven radio tracking collars for bobcat research
  • Hosted an educational seminar at the Wildlife Discovery Center, which highlighted the most recent bobcat research in Illinois by Dr. Chris Jacques
  • Launched our website www.illinoisbobcat.org
  • Hosted an informational table at the Wild Things 2017 conference
  • Presented on bobcats in Illinois at a Sinnissippi Audubon event
  • Hosted a children’s activity booth at the Rockford City Market

What would we like to accomplish in 2018?

  • Provide educational resources on our website
  • Assist with additional bobcat research
  • Participate in events to provide education on bobcats
  • Support bobcat rehabilitation, as needed

How can you help and be a part our #GivingTuesday campaign?

  • Consider making a gift on #GivingTuesday – https://goo.gl/4Tnbaj
  • Help us get the word out on social media, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to share our #GivingTuesday posts

With your support, we can continue to do more through advocacy, education, and research for bobcats in Illinois.

The Illinois Bobcat Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness, engaging research and education on bobcats in Illinois. We recently funded the purchase of additional radio collars for a population study that was initiated by Christopher N. Jacques, Ph.D., CWB ®, Assistant Professor, Western Illinois University, Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Jacques and graduate student Tim Swearingen have been trying to determine the population density of bobcats in west-central Illinois. The study will help in being able to better judge this native cat's presence.

We are excited to welcome Dr. Jacques to speak about his research at the Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest, Il on September 14, 2017 at 5:30pm. Early arrival (prior to 5:30pm) is encouraged so you have an opportunity to visit resident bobcat, Boris! And ask his keeper questions.

Due to limited seating, registration is required, but this is a FREE event. Register at: https://goo.gl/wSaEzf an Eventbrite registration.

Please join us!

 

 

HB3399 passed in the House 104-1 earlier today and now heads to the Governor for a signature! This bill expands the closed areas for bobcat hunting and reduces the number of available permits.

Thank you to everyone that worked on this bill, especially Senator Harmon!

 

The House/Senate is back in seesion today - And we're waitiing for a vote on HB3399!

House Bill 3399 was sponsored by Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and was the result of lengthy negotiations among Harmon, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Trappers Association.

“I am pleased that we were able to work with DNR and the trappers to set aside time for collecting more information about the bobcat population in the northern part of the state. We have quite a bit of information about the animals in southern Illinois, but we would like to know more about their habits and movements up north,” Harmon said.

“Ultimately, our goal is to make sure the bobcat population is strong enough to withstanding hunting and trapping statewide so that these animals don’t end up back on Illinois’ threatened species list.”

House Bill 3399 places a two-year ban on bobcat hunting and trapping in most counties in the Northern Illinois Hunting Zone, except for counties in the west and northwest portion of Illinois along the Mississippi River.

During the two-year ban, limits will be placed on the number of bobcats that can be taken in the Southern Zone and in the exempted counties. A maximum of 350 will be allowed during the 2017-2018 hunting season, and 375 will be allowed during the 2018-2019 season.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources issued 500 bobcat permits statewide during Illinois’ first bobcat hunting and trapping season since the 1970s, which ended Jan. 31. The top harvest counties were in the southern half of the state: Pike, Jackson, Jefferson, Carroll and Randolph counties.

http://www.illinoissenatedemocrats.com/caucus-news/blog-archive/5700-harmon-advances-two-year-ban-on-bobcat-hunting-in-northern-illinois

The Illinois Bobcat Foundation is helping to raise funds for Dr. Chris Jacques to purchase ten additional collars to monitor bobcats in Illinois.

The bobcat is the only native cat of Illinois. Bobcats, named for their short, bobbed tail, are about twice the size of a common house cat. They use their keen sight and hearing to hunt rabbits, squirrels, small rodents and some birds. They are nocturnal, reclusive animals that prefer forested or wooded areas. In 2014, legislation was introduced to remove the ban on trapping/hunting bobcat. The first season in over 40 years was underway by November 2016. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) estimates the bobcat population has grown to 5,000 statewide, mostly in southern regions. This estimate is based on Southern Illinois University research and observations from hunters. A more recent study was started by Dr. Chris Jacques at Western Illinois University in 2015. Dr. Jacques and graduate student Tim Swearingen have been trying to determine the density of bobcats in west-central Illinois. The study will help in being able to better judge this native cat's presence. Dr. Jacques hopes to be able to replicate their efforts to other areas of the State too.

Donors that contribute $850 (the cost of one collar) will able to learn about the bobcat that's wearing it! You will receive a notification when it's attached to a bobcat, whether it's a male or female, etc. But any donation can make a difference, even $5!

Please consider contributing to this ongoing research, thank you! And thank you to everyone that has already!

Donations can be mailed directly to the foundation at P.O. box 246, Lake Forest IL 60045 or made via our online campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/collars-for-bobcats

Update: On May 29th, Senator Harmon passed HB3399 out of the Senate. This bill replaces the previous SB1981. It went to the House floor on May 31st, but it never reached a vote before the spring session ended. The deadline is now June 30th for a full vote. It must pass with a 3/5 majority.

We'd prefer to see a moratorium on hunting altogether, but this is still very good news! It expands the "no hunting zone" and reduces the number of permits allowed.

The amended text added to HB3399 states: "Amends the Wildlife Code. Provides that it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or trap bobcat in this State on and after the effective date of the bill in the counties of Boone, Bureau, Champaign, Cook, DeKalb, DeWitt, DuPage, Ford, Grundy, Henry, Iroquois, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Marshall, McHenry, McLean, Ogle, Peoria, Piatt, Putnam, Stark, Stephenson, Vermilion, Will, Winnebago, Woodford, and north of U.S. Route 36 in Edgar and Douglas and north of U.S. Route 36 to the junction with Illinois Route 121 and north or east of Illinois Route 121 in Macon. Provides that for the season beginning in 2017, a total number of 350 bobcats may be hunted or trapped lawfully, or the conclusion of the season occurs, whichever is earlier. Provides that for the season beginning in 2018, a total number of 375 bobcats may be hunted or trapped lawfully, or the conclusion of the season occurs, whichever is earlier. Provides for a sunset of this provision on June 30, 2019. Effective July 1, 2017."

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=3399&GAID=14&SessionID=91&LegID=105170