• Pa-Hay-okee Overlook

    Everglades

    National Park Florida

Species Profile: Bobcat

Bobcat photographed in Big Cypress National Preserve

Bobcat photographed in Big Cypress National Preserve, located to the north of Everglades National Park.

NPS photo

In purple light of morn a bobcat crouches at the edge of Eco Pond, watching a young coot. The bird nibbles vegetation and advertises itself by twitching its tail and producing inane honking vocalizations.

A flash of brown fur bursts into the pond. Beads of water scatter and black feathers fill the air. The cat crawls ashore, shakes itself dry, and slips into the forest to enjoy breakfast.

 
Bobcat tracks on the Coastal Prairie Trail

Bobcat tracks on the Coastal Prairie Trail.

NPS photo

The bobcat, unlike the endangered Florida panther, is common in Everglades National Park. Although primarily nocturnal, this small (15 to 25 pound) short-tailed feline is frequently seen during daylight hours.

Ranging throughout the United States, the bobcat successfully occupies a diversity of habitats. Having no fear of slogging through mangrove forest, an adult may daily cover 5 to 50 miles in search of prey. Although capable of killing deer, this predator mainly seeks out small mammals, birds, fish, and other delectables. It may be seen walking the Bear Lake Trail, the Snake Bight Trail, and the Main Park Road for easier travel. Look for its scat, usually containing fur and bone, on nearby hiking trails.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

The Everglades served as the backdrop for much of the military action during the Seminole Wars. The Seminole and Miccosukee people sought refuge within the isolated and relatively unknown expanse of land and water.