The bobcat is the only native cat of Illinois. Bobcats, named for their short, bobbed tail, are about twice the size of a common house cat. They use their keen sight and hearing to hunt rabbits, squirrels, small rodents and some birds. They are nocturnal, reclusive animals that prefer forested or wooded areas. In 2014, legislation was introduced to remove the ban on trapping/hunting bobcat. The first season in over 40 years was underway by November 2016. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) estimates the bobcat population has grown to 5,000 statewide, mostly in southern regions. This estimate is based on Southern Illinois University research and observations from hunters. A more recent study was started by Dr. Chris Jacques at Western Illinois University in 2015. Dr. Jacques and graduate student Tim Swearingen have been trying to determine the density of bobcats in west-central Illinois. The study will help in being able to better judge this native cat's presence. Dr. Jacques hopes to be able to replicate their efforts to other areas of the State too. To help them continue their study into the next year, the Illinois Bobcat Foundation 501c3 would like to help raise funds to purchase ten additional collars to help them monitor more bobcats. Please consider donating to this effort!