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Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Seven: Case File No. 15-327

black and white trail camera night image of a tiny bobcat kitten

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Where We Left Off:

In our previous case file, there was a deadly hit and run to investigate.

Track of the Cat:

The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency had an extraordinary development on July 12, 2023 at 11:35PM. The Fort Winchester trailcam snapped the first photos of a baby Bobcat! It’s quite difficult to discern if the critters in the photos are one adult and one kitten or if there were two kittens. See what you think:

As soon as I got back to the office and conferred with Gus and Oliver about the photographic evidence, we submitted a new report to the New Jersey endangered species database.

In NJ, you can report animals of Special Concern and Endangered. They want to know whether the creatures are living or dead and especially if they are in the road. I hope that this information is taken into account when permits are reviewed by city engineers for environmental impact. I seriously doubt it, but I’m a cynic in that regard.

bobcat kitten on trailcam (barely visible on the left edge) July 12, 2023

How You Can Report a Sighting:

The first thing to do is review the lists of animals and their statuses. You might be surprised to learn which species are rare. If you live by the ocean, there are probably a lot of opportunities to see shore birds like the black-crowned night heron; but in the state as a whole, they are Threatened in status. These lists have to be updated annually so remember to check it if you haven’t read it in a while.

a lot of black-crowned night herons in trees; Cape May, NJ

Black-crowned night herons in Cape May, NJ


Next, it’s always helpful to confirm the animal by getting input from someone who may know more than you or as much as you. If you don’t know anyone, try out the iNaturalist and Merlin apps. Merlin is only for birds, but it’s great and has sound identification too. iNaturalist can examine all kinds of animals, feathers, bones, feces, footprints/tracks, and plants—and the identifications are confirmed by other citizens of the community. They can add a different ID suggestion and when enough community members agree with an identification and more data is completed (alive, cultivated, etc.) then the entry is listed as “RG” for Research Grade.

Once you’ve confirmed the specimen and note that it’s one of the animals on the Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern wildlife, as well as ‘Species of Interest,’ then go to the NJ Wildlife Tracker and begin your report. Meta data stored with your images and videos come in handy here. You do not need to have photographic evidence, but it sure helps. You can make a report if you’ve had a sighting, sound ID, physical evidence, or noted tracks.

After you complete the report and submit it, you’ll receive an automated reply via email. The email has some standard information and at the bottom includes everything you input into the database fields. Your report will be reviewed for approval into their database.

Ollie in buggy

Not from New Jersey?

Check your state/province’s agency for environmental protection, wildlife and hunting, or other bureaus that may have such information. This data is vital and our representatives should be made aware of it since they are the ones approving all the construction/deforestation permits.

the rear end of an adult bobcat on trail cam July 12, 2023

Gus and Oliver would be tickled to see the bobcats in person. They love to watch other animals except for other domesticated cats. These boys do not like strays or free-roaming of their own kind. They prefer large mammals and birds. I don’t know if Oliver has ever seen a snake, but I think he would love that also. Gus has played with snakes before. I think Ollie would because he gets excited when he’s following Gus and the leash is dragging on the ground. Ollie starts to dig at the floor of his carriage trying to catch the leash. I don’t know how either of them would be live fish. Gus does not like flowing rivers but he was good next to a still pond. Oliver’s adventures with the Butler don’t give him a chance to linger and watch water. But we do know, Gus likes to eat tuna from a can. He’s interested in trying different people foods, but Oliver is not.

black cat Gus at the top of metal staircase outside

Gus on duty at the roosting stairs

Case Findings:

The Fort Winchester trailcam did indeed capture a couple of Bobcats during the night. There may be one or two little babies now with the adult. All we can do is report our findings to the state DEP and hope that all of the wildcats live long, healthy lives safe from humans.

It is illegal to possess any part of a Bobcat in this state—this includes if you’ve found one dead or consider buying one that has been taxidermied. If the specimen has already been stuffed, I don’t think there’s any way for the state to know about it. I have no idea if a taxidermist has to report someone who brings in an endangered animal to be preserved.

Case Status: Closed

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