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MACOMB, Ill. – Faculty and students at Western Illinois University will be able to study the west-central Illinois bobcat population thanks to a $100,000 state grant.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources grant will pay for the second phase of WIU biological sciences assistant professor Chris Jacques’ work. Bobcats will be captured in Fulton, Hancock, McDonough and Schuyler counties during the winters of 2018 and 2019 and fitted with radio collars. That will let scientists better monitor bobcat movement and survival. The study also includes using 220 infrared-triggered remote cameras.

The first phase of study was completed in June. The second phase is to last two more years, through June 2019. The grant money will help provide a full-time graduate assistant, supplies and travel expenses to visit the cameras and trapping sites.