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Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 45.2 (2022) Pages: 145-160

Population density and daily activity patterns of bobcat in its southernmost continental distribution

Lavariega, M. C., Briones-Salas, M., Monroy-Gamboa, A. G., Ramos-Méndez, D.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2022.45.0145

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Abstract

Estimating density and activity patterns is useful for management and conservation of species. Data for Mexican bobcat (Lynx rufus) populations are scarce. Here we estimated the density of a bobcat population in Oaxaca, southern Mexico, and evaluated its daily activity patterns. We also evaluated macroecological patterns of bobcat density across its distribution range to determine any geographical (latitudinal, longitudinal, elevation, or range centroid) or climatic effects on the population density. Camera–trap data were divided into four 60–day periods (two in the dry season and two in the rainy season). Density was calculated using the random encounter model and daily activity patterns were analyzed fitting a kernel density function. The mean estimated density for the four periods was 17.3 bobcats/100 km2, with the highest densities occurring during the dry periods. Bobcat daily activity pattern presented two peaks, one after midnight and the other after dawn, with very slight changes between seasons. In the study area, density and activity patterns were associated with anthropogenic perturbation and prey availability. Bobcats increased their population density in the dry season, and showed a preference for activity at night and early morning hours when it is cooler and there are likely fewer competitors but more prey. Across its range, bobcat density was mainly related to annual precipitation and mean temperature of the driest quarter at 100 km radius buffers, and between annual precipitation and longitude on a smaller scale (50 km radius buffers). These findings support their preference for the arid or mesic environments that enabled them to reach southern areas of the Neartic region.

Keywords

Camera–trap, Lynx rufus, Mesocarnivore, Oaxaca, Random Encounter Model

Cite

Lavariega, M. C., Briones-Salas, M., Monroy-Gamboa, A. G., Ramos-Méndez, D., 2022. Population density and daily activity patterns of bobcat in its southernmost continental distribution. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 45: 145-160, DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2022.45.0145

Reception date:

09/03/2021

Acceptation date:

27/04/2022

Publication date:

17/05/2022

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