If you find a GPS collar, let DEEP officials know

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 are programmed to automatically detach from the animals on August 1, 2018. Once that happens, Wildlife Division staff will be working diligently to recover the collars, which will still be transmitting signals, from throughout the state. If anyone happens to find a collar in their yard or while walking in the woods, please contact the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3045 or deep.ctwildlife@ct.gov, and DEEP will make arrangements to retrieve it from you. 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 deep.ctwildlife@ct.gov. This study aims to investigate bobcat habitat use in different housing densities in Connecticut. 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.