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dc.contributor.authorMcNitt, David C.en
dc.contributor.authorAlonso, Robert S.en
dc.contributor.authorCherry, Michael J.en
dc.contributor.authorFies, Michael L.en
dc.contributor.authorKelly, Marcella J.en
dc.description.abstractAcross taxa, sex-specific demands vary temporally in accordance with reproductive investments. In solitary carnivores, females must provision and protect young independently while meeting increased energetic demands. Males seek to monopolize access to females by maintaining large territories and defending them from other males. For many species, it is poorly understood how these demands relate to broad-scale animal movements. To investigate predictions surrounding the reproductive strategies of solitary carnivores and effects of local conditions on bobcat (Lynx rufus) spatial ecology, we examined the effects of sex and reproductive season on home range size, movement rate, and resource selection of bobcats in the central Appalachian Mountains. Male seasonal home ranges were approximately 3 times larger than those of females (33.9 +/- 2.6 vs. 12.1 +/- 2.4 km(2), x +/- SE), and male movement rates were 1.4 times greater than females (212.6 +/- 3.6 vs. 155 +/- 8.2 m/hr), likely reflecting male efforts to maximize access to females. Both sexes appear to maintain relatively stable seasonal home ranges despite temporally varying reproductive investments, instead adjusting movements within home ranges. Males increased movements during the dispersal period, potentially reflecting increased territoriality prior to breeding. Females increased movements during the kitten-rearing period, when foraging more intensively, and frequently returning to den sites. Both sexes selected home ranges at higher elevations. However, females selected deciduous forest and avoided fields, whereas males selected fields and avoided deciduous forest, perhaps explained by male pressure to access multiple females across several mountain ridges and higher risk tolerance. Seasonal changes in home range selection likely reflect changes in home range shape. Increased female avoidance of fields during kitten rearing may indicate female avoidance of presumably resource rich, yet risky, fields at the time when kittens are most vulnerable. Our results indicate that while reproductive chronology influences the spatial ecology of solitary carnivores, effects may be constrained by territoriality.en
dc.description.sponsorshipVirginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (VDGIF); US Fish & Wildlife Service through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program [F13AF00648, WE99R]en
dc.rightsCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 Internationalen
dc.titleSex-specific effects of reproductive season on bobcat space use, movement, and resource selection in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginiaen
dc.typeArticle - Refereeden
dc.contributor.departmentFish and Wildlife Conservationen
dc.description.notesFinancial support provided by the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) came from the US Fish & Wildlife Service through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Project Grant #F13AF00648 (WE99R). VDGIF furbearer biologist M.L. Fies assisted with preparation of the manuscript.en
dc.title.serialPLOS Oneen

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International