The Effects of Urban Development Bobcat Ecology, Behavior, and Movement Patterns
Lead Biologists: Dr. Seth Riley [Seth_Riley(at)NPS.gov] and Joanne Moriarty, M.S., R.V.T. [Joanne_Moriarty (at) NPS.gov]
Lead Agency: National Park Service
Project Duration: 1996-present
Collaborating Agencies: University of California, Davis; Colorado State University; UCLA
Project Overview and Goals: This project is the longest running and one of the only projects on urban bobcat populations. The project involves the capture, radio-collaring/ear-tagging, and sample collection from bobcats primarily in the Thousand Oaks, Westlake, and Agoura Hills region in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Approximately 200 bobcats have been sampled since 1996, creating a unique dataset and sample collection spanning more than a decade for an elusive species of wild cat. Goals of the research initially focused on understanding how the ecology of this wild cat was affected by urban development. Blood and tissue samples collected during captures now contribute to the graduate student research on disease susceptibility project. Since 1996, the project has taken on new goals, but a rough outline of project goals include (to name just a few):
1) How are movement patterns of bobcats affected by urban development and roads?
2) What constitutes a barrier (ie., freeways?) and what constitutes a corridor (ie., underpasses?) for movement for these wild cats?
3) What is the survival rate for these animals and what are the sources of mortality for them?
4) Do roads and fragmentation lead to reduced gene flow between populations?
5) To what diseases are these bobcats exposed?
6) Are the bobcats reproducing?