L. Mike Conner

Title of study - Bobcat home range, habitat use, and core use areas in east-central Mississippi Date of thesis - May 1991

Bobcat (Felis rufus) home range, habitat use, and female core use areas were studied in east- central Mississippi, 1989-90. Annual male and female home ranges averaged 6164 ha and 1864 ha, respectively. Male seasonal home ranges were 1.65 times larger than females. Home range size differed by season. Female intrasexual home range overlap occurred during the 1990 breeding season. Intersexual home range overlap was common.

Clearcuts (young pine plantations) were the only habitat type that met core use area criteria. Core use areas did not change over seasons. Core use areas had higher densities of rabbits (Sylvilagus spp.) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) than control areas. Vegetative cover was higher in core use areas than control areas.

Bobcats used clearcuts more than expected. Mature pine (Pinus spp.) and mixed stands were avoided. Telemetry locations were closer to creeks, roads, and clearcuts than random locations. Habitat use was explained using vegetative characteristics and prey abundance.