Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science


Bobcat (Lynx rufus) food habits and placental scar counts were investigated in western South Dakota during 1978-79 and 1979-80 trapping and hunting seasons. Food habits were recorded by frequency of occurrence and placental scar counts were used to determine litter size for South Dakota bobcats. Rabbits (Sylvilagus spp. and Lepus spp.), rats and mice (primarily Microtus spp. and Peromyscus spp.), and deer (Odocoileus spp.) were identified in 56, 32, and 7% of bobcat stomachs, respectively. Analysis showed that rabbits, rats and mice, and deer occurred in 58, 36, and 9% of bobcat intestines, respectively. Occurrences in rabbits decreased from 67% of bobcat stomachs in 1978-79 to 48% in 1979-80. Occurrence of rats and mice in the intestines increased from 26% in 1978-79 to 43% in 1979-80. Bobcats collected exhibited a sex ratio of 1.04 males per female. Mean placental scar count for juveniles was 2.27, and the mean for adults was 3.11. The mean for all placental scar counts was 2.74. Changes were noted over the 2- season period for the major food items of rabbits and rats and mice. Additional information on prey item availability is needed to predict the effect of prey item abundances on bobcats in South Dakota.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Bobcat -- Reproduction
Bobcat -- Food
Mammals -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 20-24)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only