This past winter, a graduate student at University of BC Okanagan initiated a province-wide search for photos of bobcats and lynx from the public to map the distribution of each species across B.C.
And the response has been huge – with more than 3,000 photos being sent in, so far.
TJ Gooliaf, in partnership with BC’s Ministry of Environment, asked for any bobcat or lynx sightings by trail cameras, or conventional cameras, from all corners of the province and from all time periods.
Gooliaf had said at the time that he thought bobcats were moving northwards and into higher elevations.
Now, he said, it looks like bobcats have been detected throughout the southern half of the province, typically at low elevations.
Lynx have been detected throughout the province, typically at high elevations as expected, he added.
“However, there have been some surprises – bobcats have been detected much farther north than I expected, even in the Cariboo and Omineca regions,” he continued.
Gooliaf is doing one final push for photos before concluding his story.
“The photos do not have to be great photography – they just have to show a bobcat or a lynx, or even just a part of one,” he said.
He added photos can be blurry, dark and don’t have to clearly show which cat species is present, and they won’t be published or shared with anyone without permission; photographers will retain ownership of their photos.
In addition to the photos, those submitting should include a location the photo was taken – preferably in UTM or LAT/LONG coordinates.
If that information is not available, nearest road or landmark (including distance and direction from road or landmark), or nearest town (including distance and direction from town), or watershed or Management Unit will work, too.
The results of this study will be gladly shared with all those who are interested.
To send photos, along with the date and location of each photo, email Gooliaff at firstname.lastname@example.org.