Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

The Roles of Diet And Landscape Connectivity in the Distribution of Canada Lynx And Bobcats in the Northern Forest of New England

EPA Grant Number: F5F21809
Title: The Roles of Diet And Landscape Connectivity in the Distribution of Canada Lynx And Bobcats in the Northern Forest of New England
Investigators: Farrell, Laura
Institution: University of Vermont
EPA Project Officer: Just, Theodore J.
Project Period: September 1, 2005 through August 31, 2008
Project Amount: $111,172
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2005)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships

Description:

Objective:

The objectives of this research are to

  1. provide baseline distributions of Canada lynx and bobcats in the Northern Forest region in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont,
  2. determine what constitutes landscape connectivity for these two felids,
  3. and analyze their dietary flexibility in optimal and suboptimal habitats.

Approach:

With the aid of a scat-detecting dog and an orienteer, I will retrieve lynx and bobcat fecal samples in northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Survey areas are selected for their different degrees of connectivity and fragmentation, in order to determine what constitutes a passable landscape, and where connectivity falls off for lynx and bobcat. Mitochondrial DNA extracted from a portion of each scat will establish the identity of donor species, and provide information on population structure. Visual identification of prey remains in the remainder of each sample will be used to quantify diets. Prey use between areas will show how diverse the diets of lynx and bobcat become when using suboptimal habitat. Collection spots of scats of each species will give point locations for lynx or bobcats. Locations of lynx and bobcat in relation to habitat connectivity and fragmentation, and distance to anthropogenic influences such as roads, agriculture, development, or recreational areas will be modeled. This information will be useful in efforts to construct regional wildlife corridors.

Expected Results:

I anticipate that bobcats will have a wider dietary niche than lynx, and that lynx will be more tightly associated with lagomorphs and sciurids. In suboptimal habitats it is likely that both species will take a wider range of prey species. As the landscape becomes more highly fragmented and connectivity declines, dispersal of these two species across the landscape is expected to decrease. Other research indicates that bobcats will be more sensitive to fragmentation.

Supplemental Keywords:

Canada lynx, bobcat, Scat detecting dog, landscape connectivity, wildlife corridors, fecal DNA, Northern Forest, dietary niche, lagomorphs, sciurids, fragmentation, Lynx rufus, Lynx lynx,, Scientific Discipline, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Habitat, Environmental Monitoring, Ecology and Ecosystems, landscape scale determinations, dynamic landscapes, habitat dynamics, landscape context, habitat use, animal responses, community composition, bobcat, habitat fragmentation, Canadian lynx, conservation biology, effects of fragmentation

Top of Page

The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

Jump to main content.