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Monday, January 29 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
CARNIVORES: Bobcat Home Range Size, Home Range Overlap, and Habitat Utilization in Northern Wisconsin

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AUTHORS. Catherine C. Dennison, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Maximilian L. Allen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and University of Wisconsin; Nicholas Forman, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Nathan M. Roberts, Ph.D., Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Bobcats (lynx rufus) are an important carnivore in Wisconsin, providing ecological benefits as well as sustainable consumptive use opportunities for hunters and trappers. However, there are still key uncertainties regarding the status and habits of bobcats within the state. From October 2014 through January 2017 we fit bobcats in Northern Wisconsin with GPS collars programmed to record two to six locations per day. We monitored 51 bobcats (26 male, 25 female) for an average of 170 days. We calculated home ranges with kernel density estimation using plug-in bandwidths. Average adult 95% home range size was 42.98 km2 (n = 32). The average male home range (55.82 km2, n = 17) was larger than the average female home range (28.44 km2, n = 15). The home ranges of 22 bobcats overlapped with the home range of at least one other active bobcat during monitoring. One adult female bobcat’s home range overlapped with that of 5 other bobcats. We observed 20 total occurrences of home range overlap. Habitat use was compared to availability to determine habitat preferences. Bobcats in Northern Wisconsin selected for wetland habitat, while avoiding upland deciduous forests, grasslands, and agriculture habitat types. A better understanding of bobcat space and habitat use in Northern Wisconsin will aid managers in refining population estimates, and continuing to sustainably manage bobcats.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm CST