In January 2010, we were contracted to collect biological samples from 25 wild Lynx rufus (Bobcat) for felid disease studies. We collected all samples in compliance with state and federal research guidelines on public land within the Puma concolor coryi (Florida Panther) primary range. This area extends south of the Caloosahatchee River to the tip of peninsular Florida. To maximize selectivity and minimize the risk of injury to target and non-target species, we chose hounds trained according to our specific regimen to capture felines and ignore non-target species. We conducted fieldwork from 23 February 2010 to 5 May 2010. During this period, we safely captured 25 Bobcats in 36 d of effort. After we collected biological samples, we marked each Bobcat with a yellow ear-tag to prevent redundant immobilizations. The results of this project demonstrate that specially trained hounds are a safe and selective alternative for the capture of small cats, even in the absence of snow.
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Vol. 15 • No. 2