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Kinship and social structure of bobcats (Lynx rufus) inferred from microsatellite and radio-telemetry data

Authors


Correspondence
Jan E. Janečka. Current address: Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, 700 University Boulevard, MSC 218, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA. Email: jjanecka@neo.tamu.edu

Abstract

Kinship analysis using 12 microsatellites was compared with radio-telemetry data to examine the social structure of bobcats Lynx rufus in southern Texas. Genetically identified kinship relationships combined with capture data were used to reconstruct pedigrees. Three family groups were constructed from parent/offspring pairs identified from shared alleles. All parents identified by genetic analysis had established home ranges. Individuals with no distinct home ranges were not genetically observed to have offspring among the bobcats sampled. This suggests that establishing a home range is necessary for bobcats to breed. Of three identified male offspring and three identified female offspring, two female offspring were philopatric. These females became a part of the breeding population in their natal area. Among sibling pairs that included nine female and four male individuals, four females and one male were residents suggesting male-biased dispersal.

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