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1 August 2009 Understanding Fluctuations in Bobcat Harvest at the Northern Limit of Their Range
Maxime Lavoie, Pierre-Yves Collin, Florent Lemieux, Hélène Jolicoeur, Pierre Canac-Marquis, Serge Larivière
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Abstract

In Quebec, Canada, harvest of bobcats (Lynx rufus) started to decline in 1985 and by 1991, harvest seasons were closed due to concerns of a perceived population decline. Since the closing of harvest season in 1991, the average temperature has increased, snow quantity has decreased, and important changes in agriculture and forest management have occurred. In light of changing conditions, the situation of Quebec bobcats needed reassessment. Thus, we analyzed harvest data to clarify the current status of bobcat populations in Quebec. From 1980 to 1991, bobcat harvest in Quebec was strongly correlated with bobcat harvest in Maine (USA), Nova Scotia (Canada), Ontario (Canada), and Vermont (USA). Extrapolations of harvest in Quebec relative to harvest in Maine, Ontario, Vermont, and Nova Scotia suggested an increase in number of bobcats after 1991. Mass of male and female bobcats before 1991 was less than mass of animals captured after 1991. Percentage of juveniles in the reported harvest before 1991 was higher than after 1991. However, percentage of males and litter sizes in the harvest did not differ before and after 1991. The geographic distribution of bobcats captured has gradually expanded after the closure of the harvest season. Our findings suggest that bobcat populations in Quebec have recovered from the 1985–1991 decline, and that the harvest season for this species could resume. This study also illustrates how managers can rely on data from neighboring jurisdiction to manage species when local harvest data is unavailable.

Maxime Lavoie, Pierre-Yves Collin, Florent Lemieux, Hélène Jolicoeur, Pierre Canac-Marquis, and Serge Larivière "Understanding Fluctuations in Bobcat Harvest at the Northern Limit of Their Range," Journal of Wildlife Management 73(6), 870-875, (1 August 2009). https://doi.org/10.2193/2008-275
Published: 1 August 2009
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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