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SPATIAL ECOLOGY OF BOBCATS (LYNX RUFUS) ON EVERGLADES TREE ISLANDS

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Date Issued:
2021
Abstract/Description:
Bobcats (Lynx rufos) that inhabit tree islands of the Everglades, an expansive wetland in southern Florida. Bobcats are understudied in Florida and wetland ecosystems, and my objective was to identify factors driving their use of tree islands. I hypothesized that tree island size, distance between islands, and clusters of islands might influence occupancy. Additionally, I tested for effects of water levels and the Burmese Python invasion on bobcat occupancy. I built detection histories using 1,855 bobcat images from camera traps set on 87 tree islands in a -2,350 km2 managed conservation area from 2005-2019 and tested hypotheses about bobcat use relative to habitat and hydrologic covariates. Bobcat occupancy was significantly diminished when Burmese python densities exceeded 2.5 pythons/km2• Occupancy probability also increased with increasing densities of tree islands around the focal island. Effects of high water levels were less clear, but suggested a slight reduction in island occupancy with deeper water in the surrounding wetlands. My results suggest that managing for high tree island density and low densities of Burmese pythons will have stronger effects on bobcat habitat use than specific water levels.
Title: SPATIAL ECOLOGY OF BOBCATS (LYNX RUFUS) ON EVERGLADES TREE ISLANDS.
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Name(s): Buckman, Katherine, author
Dom, Nathan , Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Department of Biological Sciences
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2021
Date Issued: 2021
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 71 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Bobcats (Lynx rufos) that inhabit tree islands of the Everglades, an expansive wetland in southern Florida. Bobcats are understudied in Florida and wetland ecosystems, and my objective was to identify factors driving their use of tree islands. I hypothesized that tree island size, distance between islands, and clusters of islands might influence occupancy. Additionally, I tested for effects of water levels and the Burmese Python invasion on bobcat occupancy. I built detection histories using 1,855 bobcat images from camera traps set on 87 tree islands in a -2,350 km2 managed conservation area from 2005-2019 and tested hypotheses about bobcat use relative to habitat and hydrologic covariates. Bobcat occupancy was significantly diminished when Burmese python densities exceeded 2.5 pythons/km2• Occupancy probability also increased with increasing densities of tree islands around the focal island. Effects of high water levels were less clear, but suggested a slight reduction in island occupancy with deeper water in the surrounding wetlands. My results suggest that managing for high tree island density and low densities of Burmese pythons will have stronger effects on bobcat habitat use than specific water levels.
Identifier: FA00013846 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (MS)--Florida Atlantic University, 2021.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Lynx rufus
Bobcat
Spatial ecology
Everglades (Fla.)
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00013846
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.