Evaluation of Bobcat Habitat Use and Movements in Northwestern and
Principal Investigator: Therese Donovan
||Kim Royar, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife
||Tom Decker, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife
||John Austin, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife
Graduate Student: Mark Freeman
||Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
are one of the most widely distributed carnivores in the contiguous U.S.
In the Northeast, the bobcat is listed as a furbearer, and is
harvested under regulated trapping and hunting seasons.
The bobcat has been identified as a Species of Greatest Conservation
Need by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.
northwestern Vermont, rocky ledges,
and corridors appear to be important habitat, based on trapper surveys and
sightings. As with other
species in northwestern Vermont, bobcat habitat is threatened by the rapid
pace at which agricultural and forest lands are being developed , which
results in loss of potential breeding habitat and loss of habitat
increased traffic volume associated with increased development may place
bobcats at risk. Roads may
increase mortality of bobcats through collisions with vehicles, and may
affect breeding, behavior, and movement by fragmenting bobcat habitat and by
increasing human access to formerly undisturbed areas.
goal of this study is to evaluate habitat
use and movements of bobcats (Lynx
rufus) in northwestern Vermont in order to direct future conservation actions for
this species. Our objectives are to 1) Examine
habitat types and their use by bobcats in Northwestern and Central Vermont, 2)
Evaluate the effect of a) landscape fragmentation, c) road density, and
d) human density on bobcat habitat use, birth rate, and survival probability,
3) Evaluate bobcat movements in response
to road density, road type, and traffic volume.
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