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Mississippi State University

Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

Interactions and Spatial Relationships


Results

Home range overlap for neighboring males was greatest during fall-winter (23%). Neighboring females exhibited similar home range overlap during all seasons (19-21%). For males and females with neighboring or overlapping home ranges, greatest overlap occurred during breeding-gestation (33%).

Core area overlap for neighboring males was minimal during breeding-gestation during all seasons. Similarly, core area overlap for neighboring females was minimal during all seasons. For males and females with neighboring or overlapping home ranges, greatest overlap occurred during breeding-gestation (9%).

We documented no instances of bobcats traveling together (direct contact) within home ranges. Bobcats were documented as being within 50 m of each other while being simultaneously monitored. Ten instances of bobcats being within 50 m of each other were neighboring females, whereas only 4 were neighboring males. Most instances of bobcats being within 500 m or less were males and females that shared portions of overlapping home ranges.

Summary

Research in other portions of the bobcat's geographic range has reported extensive inter-sexual home range overlap, but that overlap among females was rare. Additionally, several studies have indicated that males may frequently overlap other males. Our data support these earlier findings, as intersexual home range overlap was common. Further, overlap among neighboring males was common. However, females on TWMA and GP overlapped an average of 20%, considerably higher than in most previous studies. Additionally, bobcats appeared to maintain nearly exclusive core areas, as intrasexual core overlap was negligible. Bobcats are solitary hunters, hence it was not surprising that simultaneously monitored bobcats were never traveling together within home ranges. This finding, coupled with the maintenance of nearly exclusive core areas, suggests strong intrasexual territoriality within bobcats on TWMA and GP.