The overall objective of the predation project was to determine annual, seasonal, and diel home range, habitat use and quality, diet, movements, and activity patterns of mammalian carnivores and relate these parameters to forest management practices so that alternative land management practices could be recommended to minimize the impact of predation upon game and non-game wildlife species. However, throughout the study several specific objectives were developed to address relevant questions regarding predator ecology and predation. These specific objectives included:
- Compile available knowledge regarding the basic biology and ecology of bobcat, coyote, raccoon, fox, and opossum. Compile available knowledge concerning the relation of land management and predator population ecology in the southeastern United States.
- Determine components of home ranges of free-ranging predators, including diel, seasonal, and annual habitat use and quality, activity patterns, essential habitat features of free-ranging predators including denning site locations, resting areas, hunting areas, prey species ailability within habitats used by these predators, and diet of free-ranging predators. Further, examine intra- and interspecific interactions among predators in various habitat types.
- Determine the relationship of abiotic components to movements and predation of the wild turkey, specifically the probability of predation by various carnivores on wild turkey hens during the prenesting, nesting, and post-reproductive periods.
- Determine the relation of forest management practices upon predator ecology and population dynamics and relate to the process of predation, and determine potential forest or land management alternatives that could reduce or minimize predation of wild turkeys.
- Assess the impacts of summer hunting with dogs on ecology of raccoons, including potential changes in survival, home range, movements, habitat use, and reproduction.