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Data from: Spatial segregation and habitat partitioning of bobcat and Canada lynx

Citation

Marrotte, Robby R.; Bowman, Jeff; Morin, Samantha J. (2020), Data from: Spatial segregation and habitat partitioning of bobcat and Canada lynx, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bk3j9kd7q

Abstract

Harvest records suggest that the abundance of bobcats (Lynx rufus) has increased and the leading edge of their distribution has spread northward, while the trailing edge of the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) range has contracted in Ontario, Canada. There has been a debate about whether these closely related felids might compete in areas of sympatry, but there is little research on sympatric populations of bobcat and lynx. Both species are found on the north shore of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada, which provided an opportunity to investigate their spatial patterns and habitat use. We surveyed snowmobile routes for snow tracks over 3 winters and estimated probability of occupancy for the two felid species while accounting for detectability. Bobcat and lynx tracks were never found on the same survey route. Bobcat occupancy increased with habitat heterogeneity whereas lynx occupancy increased with homogeneity. Our results fit with the common assumption of the generalist and specialist natures of bobcat and lynx, respectively. Our findings suggest that bobcats invaded former lynx territory after these areas became vacant. The story of the bobcat and the lynx is one of the loss of a unique, boreal specialist due to anthropogenic change, and eventual replacement by an adaptable generalist.

Methods

We surveyed routes over 3 winters from 2016 to 2018 for lynx and bobcat snow tracks. Prey, land use/cover and snow data has already been aggregated to the site level as indicated in the publication.

 

 

Usage Notes

This dataset includes 2 tables, observation_data and site_data. 

obs_data: Observation data collecting during each survey

site_data: prey, land use/cover and snow conditions data that were obtained from the observation data by aggregating to the site level.

Headers

Transect: Transect name, common key to combine both datasets if necessary
Rep: Survey repetition number
Bobcat: Number of indepedent bobcat track sets
Lynx: Number of indepedent lynx track sets
Transect_length: Lenght of transect in kilometers
LastSnowDays: Number of days since it last snowed
MinT_C: Temperature in Celsius of the previous night
Snowshoe_hare: Average track accumulation, number of tracks per kilometer per day
Squirrel: Average track accumulation, number of tracks per kilometer per day
Grouse: Average track accumulation, number of tracks per kilometer per day
Deer: Average track accumulation, number of tracks per kilometer per day
Richness: Total unique species that left tracks
Snow_Depth: Average depth of the snow in centimeters
Snow_Hardness: Average distance travelled through the snow of 150 g plastic ball dropped from 1 meter from the surface of the snow in centimeters
Anthropogenic: Proportion of of the total area occupied by roads, urban areas, agriculture, mines, etc.
Wetland: Proportion of of the total area occupied by wetlands
Coniferous: Proportion of of the total area occupied by coniferous forest
Mixed: Proportion of of the total area occupied by mixed forest
Deciduous: Proportion of of the total area occupied by deciduous forest
Forest_Immature: Proportion of of the total area occupied by immature forest
Forest_Mature: Proportion of of the total area occupied by mature forest

Funding

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Wildlife Conservation Society

Trent University

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry