Event Title

Seasonal Food Habits of Bobcat (Lynx rufus) in Central Wisconsin

Mentor 1

Dr. Eric Anderson

Location

Union 250

Start Date

24-4-2015 9:20 AM

Description

Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are an ecologically and economically important furbearer species in the state of Wisconsin. They have been legally harvested in the northern 1/3rd of the state and a statewide harvest is scheduled to open in 2014/15. During the winters of 2006 and 2008, the stomachs of 275 harvested bobcats were analyzed for their contents. Their winter diet was dominated by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; 62.9% occurrence), followed by rabbits and hares (Sylvilagus and Lepus spp.; 24.4%), squirrels (Sciuridae; 7.6%), and small mammals (Microtus spp, Myodes spp., Peromyscus spp., and Tamiascirus spp.; 6.2%). However, since the stomachs were collected primarily during the month of December, the dominance of deer in their diet might not be the result of direct predation, but incidental scavenging of hunter-wounded deer. During the summer of 2011, as part of another study of bobcat population estimation techniques, 56 scat were collected using scat detecting dogs. The samples, from 3 areas of central Wisconsin, provided an opportunity to verify the importance of deer in the diet of bobcats. Following genetic analysis to confirm species identity, bone fragments and hair were extracted from fecal samples and analyzed to determine content. The most common prey items were small mammals occurring in 59.6% of scats, followed by muskrat (Ontantra zibethicus) at 40.4%. Deer was detected in a much smaller percentage of scats (30.7%). Although the diets are clearly different between seasons (P

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Apr 24th, 9:20 AM

Seasonal Food Habits of Bobcat (Lynx rufus) in Central Wisconsin

Union 250

Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are an ecologically and economically important furbearer species in the state of Wisconsin. They have been legally harvested in the northern 1/3rd of the state and a statewide harvest is scheduled to open in 2014/15. During the winters of 2006 and 2008, the stomachs of 275 harvested bobcats were analyzed for their contents. Their winter diet was dominated by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; 62.9% occurrence), followed by rabbits and hares (Sylvilagus and Lepus spp.; 24.4%), squirrels (Sciuridae; 7.6%), and small mammals (Microtus spp, Myodes spp., Peromyscus spp., and Tamiascirus spp.; 6.2%). However, since the stomachs were collected primarily during the month of December, the dominance of deer in their diet might not be the result of direct predation, but incidental scavenging of hunter-wounded deer. During the summer of 2011, as part of another study of bobcat population estimation techniques, 56 scat were collected using scat detecting dogs. The samples, from 3 areas of central Wisconsin, provided an opportunity to verify the importance of deer in the diet of bobcats. Following genetic analysis to confirm species identity, bone fragments and hair were extracted from fecal samples and analyzed to determine content. The most common prey items were small mammals occurring in 59.6% of scats, followed by muskrat (Ontantra zibethicus) at 40.4%. Deer was detected in a much smaller percentage of scats (30.7%). Although the diets are clearly different between seasons (P