• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

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  • Trail Closure Information

    The Highland Creek Trail is closed. Backcountry Zones 1 and 2 are closed to all off-trail travel and use. The Sanctuary and Centennial Trails remain open to through traffic.

  • Temporary Road Closure Information

    Oct. 18 & 19: NPS 5 and 6 are closed for the entire weekend. Monday, Oct. 20, through Wednesday, Oct. 22, NPS 5 will be closed from Highway 87 to NPS 6. Highway 87 will be closed from Road 342 (Beaver Creek Road) north to the park boundary.

Bobcat Research

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) in trap

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) in Live Trap
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NPS Photo by Cory Mosby

The bobcat (Lynx rufus) is a wide-spread feline predator occurring throughout the continental United States, southern Canada, and northern Mexico. While bobcats are found over a large part of North America, there is little information regarding its distribution and population in South Dakota. Therefore a collaborative of South Dakota State University, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, and the National Park Service has been formed to gain a better understanding of bobcat ecology in the various ecosystems of South Dakota. More specifically, this project hopes to evaluate habitat selection and home range of bobcats, determine their food habits, estimate their population size, and make recommendations for landscape and population management of bobcats in South Dakota.

 
Cory Mosby checks out bobcat before fitting it with a GPS collar.

Cory Mosby checks out bobcat before fitting it with a GPS collar.

NPS Photo by Kelly Browson

To help address these questions, bobcats are currently being captured in Wind Cave National Park and the surrounding National Forest Land. These cats are being fitted with GPS collars that record where the bobcat has been seven times a day. This data will be used to better understand the home range and movements of bobcats in the black hills area. At this time there are four collared bobcats calling Wind Cave their home.

Did You Know?

American bison on the Wind Cave National Park prairie

The American bison is the largest terrestrial mammal in North America. Male bison can weigh a ton and can run 35 miles per hour. Do not approach bison. They weigh more and can outrun you. More...