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Lynx rufus (Schreber, 1777)
Family: Felidae


© Clayton Apps     (Photo ID #10191)


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Distribution of Lynx rufus in British Columbia.
(Click on the map to view a larger version.)
Source: Map courtesy of the Province of British Columbia (2008).


The Bobcat is one of three wild cats found in British Columbia. It is a small, short-tailed cat "about the size of a Brittany Spaniel" (Hatler et al. 2008). Its fur is short and dense (Hatler et al. 2008), and colour is usually tan to grayish brownwith a reddish tint. There are black streaks on the body and dark bars on the forelegs and tail. The ears are large, pointed and black-tipped with short black tufts, and there is a noticeable 'ruff' of hair on the face below the ears and a rim of white fur around each eye (Hatler et al. 2008).

Males are larger than females. In British Columbia, adult male Bobcats range in length from 83 to 98 cm and females from 73to 90 cm (Hatler et al. 2008). Males weigh from 7.3 to 16.6 kg and females from 5.0 to 9.8 kg (Hatler et al. 2008).

The Bobcat occurs in British Columbia at the northern limit of its range in North America. Its distribution in the province is limited by climate and severe winter with deeper snow (Hatler et al. 2008). This restricts its occurrence to the southern portion of the province, northward to about the center of the province, exclusive of the coast (Hatler et al. 2008). In coastal areas, Bobcats are found "from the Fraser Valley west to the Sunshine Coast, and north to abut Bute Inlet (Hatler et al. 2008).

According to Hatler et al. (2008), two subspecies of Bobcat are currently recognized in British Columbia. These are: 1) Lynx rufus fasciatus (coastal to Bute Inlet), 2) Lynx rufus pallescens (south-central BC north to Prince George). For futher information see Hatler et al. 2008.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS5YellowNot Listed

BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Species References

Hatler, David F., David W. Nagorsen and Allison M. Beal. 2008. Carnivores of British Columbia. Royal BC Museum Handbook, Victoria.

General References