Rebecca Norris ACF Abstract FY11

"Predicting habitat quality for Bobcats in Michigan's Souther Lowere Peninsula using non invasive detection methods"

Conference Name: The Wildlife Society Annual Conference

While bobcats (Lynx rufus) historically ranged throughout the entire US, in the past 150 years persecution and habitat loss have created a noted absence of bobcats in the Midwest.  In recent years, they have begun to make a comeback in these highly fragmented areas.  Little is known about how bobcats use sub optimal habitat in the Upper Great Lakes Region, particularly in Michigan’s Southern Lower Peninsula.  This study used non-invasive track station and camera trap data to analyze bobcat habitat use on a regional scale.  Track stations were created and camera traps were monitored in three counties in South Central Michigan.  Logistic regression was used to create a model for predicting bobcat occurrence based on regional scale land cover factors.  This model was then applied within a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the Southern half of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.  Land cover variables that proved to be most important were the proportion of wetlands and proportion of forest present within a home range sized area. Models from other areas in the Midwest will also be applied to Southern Michigan and location data collected from this study will be used to evaluate the suitability of these previously created models for use in habitat delineation in Southern Michigan.

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