Event Title

Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Bobcats (Lynx Rufus) in Central Illinois

Faculty Advisor

Given Harper

Graduation Year

2019

Location

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

21-4-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2018 10:00 AM

Description

The Bobcat is a medium-sized felid that prefers brushy and wooded sites bordering agricultural land with abundant rabbit and rodent populations. Beginning in 2016, the state of Illinois allowed Bobcats to be hunted and trapped, including in several counties of central Illinois. However, no recent studies have been conducted to determine their abundance in this area. This study seeks to estimate Bobcat abundance and habitat preferences in areas along the Mackinaw River in McLean, Woodford, and Tazewell Counties, Illinois. Motion activated camera traps and scent and visual attractants were placed in areas of possible habitat from October, 2017 to present. To date, no Bobcats have been photographed during 300 trap days (one trap day = a 24-hour period in which a camera records photographs), although Bobcat tracks and scat have recently been found in Tazewell County. However, we have photographed 10 mammal and 10 bird species, several of which are prey of Bobcats.

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 21st, 10:00 AM

Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Bobcats (Lynx Rufus) in Central Illinois

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

The Bobcat is a medium-sized felid that prefers brushy and wooded sites bordering agricultural land with abundant rabbit and rodent populations. Beginning in 2016, the state of Illinois allowed Bobcats to be hunted and trapped, including in several counties of central Illinois. However, no recent studies have been conducted to determine their abundance in this area. This study seeks to estimate Bobcat abundance and habitat preferences in areas along the Mackinaw River in McLean, Woodford, and Tazewell Counties, Illinois. Motion activated camera traps and scent and visual attractants were placed in areas of possible habitat from October, 2017 to present. To date, no Bobcats have been photographed during 300 trap days (one trap day = a 24-hour period in which a camera records photographs), although Bobcat tracks and scat have recently been found in Tazewell County. However, we have photographed 10 mammal and 10 bird species, several of which are prey of Bobcats.