Event Title

Predicting Habitat Quality for Bobcats in Michigan's Southern Lower Peninsula Using Non-invasive Detection Methods

Location

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

Event Website

Steelcase Lecture Hall

Start Date

31-3-2011 4:30 PM

Description

INTRODUCTION: 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. METHODS: 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 at for both male and female home range sizes. These models were then applied within a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the Southern half of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. RESULTS: Bobcat sign was detected at 17 track stations and three camera trap photos of bobcats were captured. Land cover variables that proved to be most important were the proportion of grassland and proportion of forest present within a home range sized area. CONCLUSION: Much of the highest suitability habitat occurred on State Game Areas. These areas also contain the largest contiguous tracts of forest in the study area. Habitat suitability models, such as these, can help managers conserve species that occur at low densities, particularly species with increasing populations in areas of relatively poor habitat with few refuges.

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Mar 31st, 4:30 PM

Predicting Habitat Quality for Bobcats in Michigan's Southern Lower Peninsula Using Non-invasive Detection Methods

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

INTRODUCTION: 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. METHODS: 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 at for both male and female home range sizes. These models were then applied within a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the Southern half of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. RESULTS: Bobcat sign was detected at 17 track stations and three camera trap photos of bobcats were captured. Land cover variables that proved to be most important were the proportion of grassland and proportion of forest present within a home range sized area. CONCLUSION: Much of the highest suitability habitat occurred on State Game Areas. These areas also contain the largest contiguous tracts of forest in the study area. Habitat suitability models, such as these, can help managers conserve species that occur at low densities, particularly species with increasing populations in areas of relatively poor habitat with few refuges.

https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/gradshowcase/2011/biology/1