Bobcats and Coyotes

Life as a predator isn’t easy. Take, for example, the bobcat (Lynx rufus). While they may be hunters, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have to keep a sharp eye out for others that may be hunting for or competing with them. 

Bobcats are vulnerable to predation by other species like hawks, eagles, mountain lions (Puma concolor), wolves, and coyotes (Canis latrans). If evading other predators weren’t challenging enough, they often compete with other species for precious food and resources. If adult bobcats and their kittens cannot get enough to eat, they can succumb to starvation.

One of the bobcat’s favorite prey species are rabbits — which coyotes also have a taste for. So how do these two competitors share this food source? Bobcats can easily hunt in rockier terrain that is difficult for coyotes to navigate. Coyotes, on the other hand, are more proficient at hunting in wide-open spaces where they can run down their prey.

By occupying different spatial niches, coyotes and bobcats can coexist — for the most part!

Denise Peterson

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