Big Cat in Pinkham Notch

Bobcat, Lynx rufus, back of Joe Dodge Lodge, Pinkham Notch
Photo credit: AMC Staff
A few weeks ago our custodian was leaving work mid-afternoon when to his left he saw something the size of a dog.  But it had a five-inch bobbed tail; tufty ears; and large hind feet. Authorities in the area identified it as a bobcat, Lynx rufus.  Common at lower elevations, this was an unusual occurrence at the top of the Notch.  But here one is and there's more talk of cats, including the bobcat's relative the lynx, Felis canadensis, at other AMC destinations.  In 2011, Fish and Game biologists confirmed the presence of four Canada lynx, Lynx canadensis, in northern New Hampshire.  The fact that the lynx appeared to be kittens is evidence that the wild cats are breeding in N.H., an expansion of the population across the border in Maine.  Lynx are listed as “endangered” in New Hampshire and as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act.

This winter a wildlife biologist working with NH Fish and Game set up game cameras outside Lonesome Lake, Zealand, and Carter huts and has been working with the AMC winter caretakers to record images of the animals so we can better understand their range and do a better job of protecting them.  Look out for our next post on what the cameras have picked up so far this winter.