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    With populations thriving, are bobcats the next urban pest?

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    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Once almost impossible to spot, bobcats are on the rise across the country.

    Known as solitary and shy creatures, the cats are becoming increasingly comfortable with humans. And as their numbers rise across the country, they’re being spotted in suburban backyards and city streets.

    Bobcat numbers have almost tripled nationwide since the 1980s to as many as 3.6 million, according to a 2010 study in the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management, the most recent national survey.

    Their growing numbers – they are stable across much of their range – is attributed to a drop in hunting and warmer Northeast winters that help them find food, as well as expansion of public lands that increased prey including white-tailed deer.

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