Project Wild Coshocton with Dr. Shauna Weyrauch
Project Wild Coshocton returns to the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum July 20th at 6:00 P.M. when Ohio State University Senior Lecturer Shauna Weyrauch presents her most recent findings on the state of the bobcat and coyote in Ohio.
Mountain lions, lynx, bobcats, wolves and black bears once flourished in Ohio’s dense forests. As western expansion began and the fur trade decimated Ohio’s carnivore population, thriving populations of these wild animals diminished into local extinction by the mid-1800s. Now, a century later, some of Ohio’s lands have begun a process of natural recovery or assisted reclamation. Where secondary forests now grow, habitat is once again available for some of Ohio’s native predators – species which help regulate prey populations and maintain an ecological balance.
Within the last few decades, the bobcat has returned to parts of eastern and southern Ohio, with varying degrees of success. Things have changed in Ohio since bobcats last roamed the state in numbers. Highways bisect and towns dot the landscape, and although larger competitors like mountain lions and wolves no longer stalk the woodlands, a new predator has taken their place: the coyote. The adaptability of coyotes, and the absence of larger predators such as wolves, enabled this species to spread east of the Mississippi in the first half of the twentieth century.
In 2015, Project Wild Coshocton set out to survey the backwoods of Coshocton County with a network of trail cameras in search of the elusive and charismatic bobcat.
Since 2015, Dr. Shauna Weyrauch (Senior Lecturer, Department of EEOBiology, The Ohio State University at Newark), Dr. J. Andrew Roberts (Associate Professor, Department of EEOBiology, The Ohio State University at Newark) and their undergraduate research assistants have collected hundreds of thousands of photos of wildlife across Coshocton and southern Holmes counties. They have begun to investigate how bobcats and other carnivores (especially coyotes) interact in this region of Ohio. Dr. Weyrauch will share Project Wild Coshocton’s most recent findings and photos of the exceptional wildlife that the project has collected.
Admission to this program is free and registration is not required. We hope to see you there for this exciting and wild update