Albany, NY (WIBX) - New York's bobcat population continues to grow, prompting the Department of Environmental Conservation to adopt a new management plan for the animals.

The agency received more than 1,600 public comments, prompting the plan's authors to make changes to their original draft.

Among the changes are a clearer explanation of how the DEC estimates populations, a revised plan to reduce negative bobcat-human interactions and a clarification of the group's intent to protect current populations.

Hunting regulations will also be made more uniform across Upstate New York, but will not take effect until fall of 2013. New hunting opportunities will also be introduced to sections of the Southern Tier.

According to the group, bobcat populations have been increasing for several decades, and are estimated at more than 5,000.