Bruce W. Plowman

Title of study - Bobcat interactions and core area dynamics in central Mississippi. Date of thesis - December 1997

From 1 January 1995 - 31 December 1996, 16 bobcats (11 female, 5 male) were monitored in central Mississippi to determine bobcat interactions and core area dynamics. Two levels of habitat selection were investigated: (1) core area habitat selection vs. home range habitat availability and (2) core area habitat use vs. core area habitat availability. During 1995, first level habitat selection was similar among seasons (P > 0.10). During 1996, habitat selection was similar (P > 0.10) among winter, summer, and fall, whereas pole, sapling, regeneration, mature hardwood, and mature pine were selected, respectively, during spring. Second level habitat selection was similar among seasons (P >0.10) for both years. Male home ranges and core areas ranged between 452-1794 ha and 88-433 ha, respectively. Female home ranges and core areas ranged between 214-2303 ha and 16-394 ha, respectively. Fifty-six of 57 site fidelity comparisons showed a significant (P <0.001) lack of seasonal core area fidelity. Seasonal bobcat interactions (n="110)" tended to be unrelated, suggesting a mutual avoidance between neighboring bobcats.