Reproducing Bobcats to Cumberland Island, Georgia

Duane R. Diefenbach, Leslie A. Baker, William E. James, Robert J. Warren, Michael J. Conroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Many felids are threatened by loss of habitat, lack of genetic diversity, and over‐exploitation. The reintroduction of bobcats (Felis rufus) to Cumberland Island, Georgia provided an opportunity to reintroduce a mid‐sized felid without the concern for species survival that is paramount with endangered species. We captured bobcats from the coastal plain region of Georgia, briefly held them in captivity, and released them on Cumberland Island. We describe and evaluate the protocols and techniques used to accomplish the reintroduction. Future reintroductions of felids should consider the problem of post‐release dispersal, although our island was relatively isolated and inhibited dispersal. Also, any reintroduction effort should invest effort and resources into post‐release monitoring of the population. Empirical knowledge about the effects of spatial distribution, genetics, population dynamics, especially mechanisms of population regulation, behavior, and environmental conditions on the viability of populations is critical to the conservation of endangered species. Future research of the bobcats on Cumberland Island will be able to address aspects of the population and genetic dynamics of a small, insular felid population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-247
Number of pages7
JournalRestoration Ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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