Home-range interactions of three sympatric Mesopredators in east Texas

H. Melville, W. C. Conway, M. L. Morrison, C. E. Comer, J. B. Hardin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Spatial interactions among predators are central to their behavioral ecology. Although coyotes (Canis latrans Say, 1823), bobcats (Lynx rufus (Schreber, 1777)), and raccoons (Procyon lotor (L., 1758)) occur sympatrically throughout much of the USA, little is known about the nature of inter- and intra-specific spatial interactions. We used kernel analysis to estimate home ranges and core areas for these species. We estimated home-range overlap within and among species using the utilization distribution overlap index (UDOI) and percent overlap. Bobcat and coyote home ranges were similar in extent, whereas raccoons had substantially smaller home ranges. Only bobcats displayed seasonal differences in home-range size. Male bobcats had larger home ranges than female bobcats; there was no sex-based differentiation in home range or core area for coyotes or raccoons. Home-range overlaps calculated using percent overlap were consistently larger than UDOI estimates. Percent overlap seemed to exaggerate the extent to which individuals of the same species share space. Bobcats and coyotes shared space more than raccoons did with either bobcats or coyotes, which indicates that raccoons may have avoided areas used by trophically higher ranking mesopredators or that species with similar feeding strategies had lower levels of overlap to avoid competition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-557
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Volume93
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2 2015

Keywords

  • Bobcat
  • Canis latrans
  • Coyote
  • Home range
  • Lynx rufus
  • Mesopredator
  • Percent overlap
  • Procyon lotor
  • Raccoon
  • Spatial interaction
  • UDOI
  • Utilization distribution overlap index

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