Bobcat Home Range, Density, and Habitat Use in East-central Mississippi

Fifteen bobcats (10 females, 5 males) were monitored using radio telemetry from 1 January 1989-31 December 1991 in east-central Mississippi. Male composite home ranges (HR) averaged 36.5 km2 (S.E. = 12.7) while female HR's averaged 20.6 km2 (S.C. = 7.7). Composite and seasonal HR sizes differed between sexes (P = 0.03 and P < 0.001, respectively). HR's were larger during the 1989 post-parturition (1 May-31 Aug) and fall (1 Sept-31 Dec) seasons than during most other seasons (P < 0.05). Intersexual HR overlap occurred during 5 of 9 seasons. Female-female HR overlap occurred during 3 seasons while male-male overlap occurred during 2 seasons. Much female-female HR overlap was explained by dispersing sub-adults. Minimum winter bobcat density averaged 1 bobcat/10.4 km2. Pine plantations and agricultural areas were preferred (use > available) habitats, while mature pines were used less than available (P < 0.10). Use of hardwood bottoms by bobcats varied. Females had more pronounced habitat preferences than males.

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