Fierce hunters, bobcats can kill prey much bigger than themselves, but usually eat rabbits, birds, mice, squirrels, and other smaller game. These five species have been lost from New Jersey, but they still survive within a portion of their range. Although unlikely, it's possible they could return to the state in the future. In the meantime, their stories may help us understand how to better protect the species we still have.
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Extirpated Species of New Jersey
The bobcat Lynx rufus is a medium-sized North American cat  that first appeared during the Irvingtonian stage around 1. The bobcat is an adaptable predator that inhabits wooded areas, as well as semidesert, urban edge, forest edge, and swampland environments. It remains in some of its original range, but populations are vulnerable to local extinction "extirpation" by coyotes and domestic animals. With a gray to brown coat, whiskered face, and black-tufted ears, the bobcat resembles the other species of the midsized genus Lynx. It is smaller on average than the Canada lynx , with which it shares parts of its range, but is about twice as large as the domestic cat. It has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby or "bobbed" tail, from which it derives its name. Though the bobcat prefers rabbits and hares , it hunts insects , chickens , geese and other birds , small rodents , and deer.
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