DEEP: Contact wildlife officials if you find GPS collars

The DEEP Wildlife Division is asking residents to report sightings of bobcats, particularly ones that have yellow ear tags. —  Linda Tomas photo
The DEEP Wildlife Division is asking residents to report sightings of bobcats, particularly ones that have yellow ear tags. — Linda Tomas photo
GPS collars like this one have been placed on 50 bobcats throughout Connecticut to collect important data. All of the collars are programmed to automatically detach from the bobcats on Aug. 1. —  Melissa Ruszczyk/DEEP Wildlife Division photo
GPS collars like this one have been placed on 50 bobcats throughout Connecticut to collect important data. All of the collars are programmed to automatically detach from the bobcats on Aug. 1. — Melissa Ruszczyk/DEEP Wildlife Division photo

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is asking state residents to notify DEEP Wildlife Division officials if they find a GPS neck collar in their yards or while outdoors.

As part of a DEEP Bobcat Research Project — initiated in fall 2017 — GPS collars were placed on 50 bobcats throughout the state. These collars have been collecting and transmitting important data about Connecticut’s bobcat population, according to DEEP.

All of the collars were programmed to automatically detach from the animals on Aug. 1. Once that happens, Wildlife Division staff will be working diligently to recover the collars, which will still be transmitting signals, from throughout the state.

Those who happen to find a collar in their yard or while walking in the woods are asked to contact the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3045 or [email protected], and DEEP will make arrangements to retrieve it. Finding the detached collars using telemetry equipment is a huge undertaking, and any assistance from the public is greatly appreciated, officials say.

DEEP is also asking residents to continue reporting sightings of bobcats, particularly of bobcats that have been marked with yellow ear tags by researchers (include the numbers on the tags if visible). Sightings can be reported on iNaturalist, the CT Fish and Wildlife Facebook page (Facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife), or at [email protected]

This study aims to investigate bobcat habitat use in different housing densities in Connecticut. Wildlife biologists want to determine how the state’s bobcats meet their needs in both rural and suburban areas, as well as how successful bobcats are at reproduction and survival. More information about the Bobcat Project and how to report sightings can found on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/wildlife

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