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Posted: 8:32 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014

Bobcats may no longer be 'threatened' in Ohio

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An Ohio bobcat, the lynx rufus.

By Breaking News Staff

COLUMBUS —

Bobcats are making a comeback in Ohio and biologists have proposed to remove the animals from the state's Threatened Species List.

The Ohio Wildlife Council is expected to review the proposal submitted by Ohio Department of Natural Resources and release its decision in March, according to a release from ODNR.

Bobcats have been reported in 31 counties, including Butler County, according to the most recent data available.

Verified sightings topped out at 169 in 2012, up from 136 and 106 the two previous years, and state wildlife officials moved the indigenous cat from the "endangered" list to the "threatened" category.

Species are considered threatened if they are exposed to risks of reduced population, but are not in immediate danger.

The next lower category is "species of concern," which Ohio has 104 species listed.

Bobcats were one of 71 species on the state's original endangered list in 1974. The list now contains 120 species, in addition to 54 threatened species.

Regardless, bobcats will still be protected and hunting or trapping the animals will not be allowed.

--Contributing Writer Mickey Shuey is a senior at the University of Dayton

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