Effects of removal on spatial organization and habitat use of bobcats
Lynch, Greg Swanson
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This study investigated bobcat (Lynx rufus) spatial organization and habitat use relative to a known decrease in population resulting from an experimental removal. After an approximately 50% reduction in abundance, male bobcats shifted (F1,3=138.08, P= 0.0013) their home ranges when surrounding bobcats were removed. Dispersion of animal locations increased less as a function of removal for female bobcats that were exposed to the removal of a male (F1,14=6.78, P=0.0209), or both a male and female (F1,14=8.27, P=0.0122) than for control animals. Male bobcats may have shifted their home ranges to gain access to more breeding opportunities. The decrease in dispersion of female locations may be the result of a decrease in intraspecific competition or possibly the result of less detailed maintenance or inspection of scent markings along the boundary of a bobcat’s territory. Neither habitat selection nor habitat use differed as a function of removal in this study, suggesting that density-dependent habitat selection was not occurring.