Date of Award

Winter 2014

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

John A Litvaitis

Second Advisor

Mark J Ducey

Third Advisor

Patrick Tate


Carnivores substantially impact humans, but are elusive and difficult to monitor. Although less precise than intensive methods (e.g., capture-recapture), indices of relative abundance are widely used to monitor carnivore numbers. This study assessed public sightings and hunter surveys as approaches to monitoring the distribution and relative abundance of bobcats (Lynx rufus) in New Hampshire. To validate indices, I used a telemetry-based model of habitat suitability and information from camera surveys conducted by volunteers in three study areas. Bobcats were found widely distributed in New Hampshire with lower abundance in northern and mountainous regions. Public sightings and hunter surveys (both effort-corrected) were strongly correlated to each other and the suitability model when summarized by Wildlife Management Unit. Detection rates from camera surveys were correlated to other indices and the model within the three study areas. I suggest future research validate indices using absolute abundance, and assess influences of confounding variables.