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Keywords:

  • bobcat;
  • core area;
  • habitat model;
  • landscape;
  • Lynx rufus;
  • Michigan;
  • Penrose distance;
  • radiotelemetry;
  • scent-station survey

ABSTRACT  Controversy over bobcat (Lynx rufus) management in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan (NLP), USA, stimulated a need for information on the distribution of Michigan bobcats. From March 2003 to October 2004, we conducted a radiotelemetry and scentstation survey study of bobcats in the NLP. We developed a spatial model to predict bobcat distribution throughout the NLP based on bobcat area requirements, habitat and landscape variables derived from remotely sensed land-cover data, and a multivariate distance statistic. Bobcat 50% minimum convex polygon core areas were comprised of more lowland forest (51%), nonforested wetlands (9%), and streams (3%) than the surrounding NLP. The NLP was comprised primarily of upland forest (44%) and field (32%). Habitat in the northeast and central regions of the NLP was most similar to the habitat composition of bobcat core areas. This model will be useful in aiding Michigan wildlife management agencies with assessing the status and distribution of the NLP bobcat population by identifying areas important to bobcats and supporting the development of regional strategies for carnivore conservation.