|SREL Reprint #1134|
Pre and Post Dispersal Movement Behavior of Subadult Bobcats on the Savannah River Plant
A. Griffith and T. T. Fendley
Six subadult bobcats (Lynx rufus) were
radio-tracked on the Savannah River Plant, South Carolina, from October 1980 to
July 1981. Dispersal period and
distances, as well as home range sizes and movement patterns, before and after
dispersal were determined from 771 observations. Subadult bobcats dispersed from late February to mid-March,
which corresponded to the breeding season of adult bobcats monitored at the same
time. Dispersal duration varied
from 2-6 days and covered an average straight line distance of 8.7 km.
Once settled, dispersing bobcats remained in their new use areas for the
remainder of the study (4.5 months). Estimated
average home range size of female bobcats before and after dispersal was 3034
and 1475 ha, respectively. Insufficient
data were collected to estimate male home range size prior to dispersal, but
1472 ha was the size estimated for the period following dispersal, a value
similar to females. Average minimum
total distance (MTD) moved per diel tracking period before and after dispersal
was 6.8 and 4.5 km, respectively for female bobcats and 4.6 km after dispersal
for the males. Distances moved per
2 hour interval before and after dispersal averaged 593 and 394 m, respectively,
for female bobcats and 442 m after dispersal for the males.
Annual activity patters suggest crepuscular movement for females, with
peaks occurring from 0400-0800 hours and 1800-2200 hours.
These periods were consistent through all seasons with the exception of
the dispersal period, when peak movement occurred from 0800-1200 hours and
1600-2000 hours. Activity patters
for male bobcats showed peaks occurring from 1000-1400 hours and 2200-0200
hours. These periods were also
consistent through seasons except dispersal, when peak movement occurred from
0400-0800 hours and 2000-00000 hours. Following
dispersal, home range sizes and movement patterns of male and female subadult
bobcats were analogous to those of adult female bobcats being monitored at the
same time. The relatively short
dispersal period and distances moved implied that vacant areas were readily
available to subadults, presumably because the density of adult bobcats on the
Savannah River Plant during the study was low.
These dispersal patterns may be typical of exploited bobcat populations.
Bobcats, South Carolina, subadult, dispersal, movement
SREL Reprint #1134
Griffith, M.A. and T.T. Fendley. 1986. Pre and post
dispersal movement behavior of subadult bobcats on the
Savannah River Plant. p. 277-289. In Second International Cat
Symposium: Cats of the World: Biology, Conservation and
Management, edited by S.D. Miller and D. Everet. Ceaser
Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute and National Wildlife
Federation. Kingsville, TX.