Mark your calendars for Wednesday, December 7, 6:30 pm at the Frontier Power Community Room when Dr. Weyrauch will share her knowledge and research on bobcats in Coshocton County.
Dr. Shauna Weyrauch is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Evolution, Ecology & Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University at Newark. In her presentation, she will be discussing preliminary results of her bobcat study, called “Project Wild Coshocton.” Weyrauch and her students are using digital trail cameras with motion sensors to capture photographs of wildlife throughout Coshocton County and parts of southern Holmes County. The primary goal of the study is to find out whether bobcat populations are increasing or decreasing in that region of Ohio. She plans to gather data for several years. Weyrauch said Coshocton County is the perfect place to conduct her research because state data shows that there has been an increase recently in bobcat sightings throughout the southeast part of the state. Coshocton County is on the leading edge of the area where the increased sightings have been reported.
“Bobcats were once found throughout the state but were extirpated by the mid-1800s due to habitat loss and over-hunting,” said Weyrauch. “The bobcat was one of the first species listed as endangered in Ohio in 1974. By 2012, sightings of bobcats had increased to the point that the species was re-classified from ‘endangered’ to ‘threatened.’ In 2014, it was removed from the ‘threatened’ list in Ohio, although it is still protected against hunting and trapping.”
Weyrauch’s research began in the summer of 2015, and has continued through the spring and summer of 2016. With the help of undergraduate research assistants, she has set up cameras at 49 sites in Coshocton and southern Holmes counties and amassed over 100,000 photographs. During the presentation, Weyrauch will share information about the distribution of bobcats in the area and show some of the most interesting wildlife photographs they have collected.