Ecology of bobcats on land managed for northern bobwhite in southwestern Georgia
Godbois, Ivy Ayn
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Bobcats are considered a quail predator by many quail managers; therefore, it is important for quail ma nagers to understand bobcat ecology. We examined how quail management practices, such as supplemental feeding, prescribed burning, and creation of food plots, affected bobcat home range, movement, and diet. We found that home range size was affected by food plots, but not supplemental feeding, and that movement rates were highest in the evening. Bobcats were attracted to supplemental feeding, but not recently burned areas. Bobcats selected food plots in their home range, and selected mixed pine/hardwood areas throughout the study site. Bobcat diet was mainly made up of rodent. Scat containing deer degraded faster; therefore, deer may be underestimated in diet studies using scat. Bobcat ecology appears driven by prey availability, and bobcats may be beneficial to quail by preying on nest predators.