CARBONDALE (WSIL)---While sightings are uncommon, bobcats can be found throughout southern Illinois.
One SIU grad student has decided to study bobcats and coyotes, to see how far they move around our region.
Nicole Gorman has been studying these midsized predators to see how they interact with their environment and other species around them.
She gathers her data by safely detaining the animals, and tracking their movements with a special collar.
Gorman said the data she collects is helpful, since these predators are at the top of the food chain throughout most of the Midwest.
"Bobcats and coyotes are the top predators in Illinois and throughout a lot of the midwestern United States where there aren't larger predators, and they can have a big impact on the other species and environments around them. So if we can manage them correctly, it can help both them, and the prey species and humans alike," said Gorman.
According to Gorman, bobcats and coyotes in Southern Illinois have smaller home ranges than those that live in central Illinois, because Southern Illinois has more forested habitats available.
Gorman also mentioned that even though these animals are predators, they are more scared of humans than we are of them.
So don't worry if you see the occasional bobcat or coyote walking through your neighborhood.