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Mississippi State University

Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

Microhabitat Selection



Using discriminant function analysis and comparing to random points, pine and hardwood basal area, distance to the nearest hardwood and pine, and height of understory vegetation were significant predictors of bobcat locations. Bobcat locations consistently contained higher hardwood basal area and less pine basal area. Likewise, distance to nearest hardwood and pine was greater at locations used by bobcats. Height of understory vegetation was greater at used locations than random.


Given that bobcats frequently selected mature pine and hardwood macrohabitats, it is not surprising that locations tended to be in areas with greater basal areas and distances to nearest hardwood and pine. Likewise, increasing height of understory vegetation is a component found in early seral stage pine stands, another habitat selected by bobcats at multiple spatial scales. Bobcats likely select these areas because of increased prey availability, as abundance of bobcat prey was high in early seral stage pine, and mature pine and hardwood habitats on TWMA and GP.