Ecology and management of bobcats (Lynx rufus) in the East Kootenay district of British Columbia
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AbstractThe East Kootenay bobcat population represents one of the most northerly extensions of bobcat distribution. No previous studies of bobcats have been conducted in British Columbia. The East Kootenay Bobcat Project was initiated by the Wildlife Branch to serve as a base for reviewing current management decisions and developing future management policies for the East Kootenay district. I monitored seven radiocollared bobcats for periods of 24 to 353 days. Average total 100% minimum convex polygon home ranges for adult males were 123 km2. The only adult female had a range of 54 km2. Winter movements were restricted to narrow bands at low elevations, aligned parallel to the Rocky Mountain Trench. I estimated the population of the East Kootenay district using three methods, two based on winter movements of collared bobcats, and the other based on track observations. Averaging the three yielded a conservative estimate of 216 bobcats in the East Kootenay district. Examination of the carcasses and teeth of bobcats harvested from 1986/87 through 1990/91 indicated a preponderance of females in all age classes for both trapping and hunting. The overall male to female ratio was 0.65:1. Although the proportion of kittens, yearlings, and adults in the harvest sample varied widely between years, I did not detect a trend. Red squirrels were the most common winter prey for kittens. Preliminary indications are that the existing harvest is not depleting the population.
Bibliography: p. 66-72.