IUCN / SSC Cat Specialist Group - Digital Cat Library


View printer friendly
Frey, S.N.; Conover, M.R.
Influence of population reduction on predator home range size and spatial overlap
2007  Journal of Wildlife Management (71): 303-309

The increasing populations of red foxes (_Vulpes vulpes_), raccoons (_Procyon lotor_), and striped skunks (_Mephitis mephitis_) in the Intermountain West have contributed to low waterfowl recruitment in recent decades. This effect prompted the need for predator removal at many waterfowl refuges, such as the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge (BRMBR) in the Great Salt Lake ecosystem. Our study examined the effects of the removal of predatory mammals at the BRMBR on the home range size and spatial overlap of the remaining populations of red foxes, raccoons, and striped skunks. The removal of predators through traps, snares, and night-shooting created a lower predator population during the predators' rearing and dispersal seasons. Predator removal did not result in a change of home range size for red foxes, raccoons, or striped skunks. In all species, home ranges were of similar size during the rearing and dispersal seasons and there were no differences among sexes. After predator removal, the proportion of a home range that overlapped with that of another conspecific decreased in foxes but increased in raccoons. However, predator removal did not change the proportion of inter-specific home range overlap between foxes and raccoons. These findings indicate that home range sizes of these mammalian predators were not constrained by their population densities prior to predator management. In this situation, predator control may be only temporarily successful in reducing predator populations. Managers may achieve more permanent reduction in predator population by decreasing food and shelter resources, thereby reducing the carrying capacity of the landscape.

PDF files are only accessible to Friends of the Cat Group. Joining Friends of the Cat Group gives you unlimited access and downloads in the Cat SG Library for one year, and allows you to receive our newsletter Cat News (2 regular issues per year plus special issues). More information how to join here


(c) IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group ( IUCN - The World Conservation Union)