Intraguild (IG) predation is an important factor influencing community structure, yet factors allowing coexistence of IG predator and IG prey are not well understood. The existence of spatial refuges for IG prey has recently been noted for their importance in allowing coexistence. However, reduction in basal prey availability might lead IG prey to leave spatial refuges for greater access to prey, leading to increased IG predation and fewer opportunities for coexistence. We determined how the availability of prey affected space-use patterns of bobcats (Lynx rufus, IG prey) in relation to coyote space-use patterns (Canis latrans, IG predators). We located animals from fall 2007 to spring 2009 and estimated bobcat home ranges and core areas seasonally. For each bobcat relocation, we determined intensity of coyote use, distance to water, small mammal biomass, and mean small mammal biomass of the home range during the season the location was collected. We built generalized linear mixed models and used Akaike Information Criteria to determine which factors best predicted bobcat space use. Coyote intensity was a primary determinant of bobcat core area location. In bobcat home ranges with abundant prey, core areas occurred where coyote use was low, but shifted to areas intensively used by coyotes when prey declined. High spatial variability in basal prey abundance allowed some bobcats to avoid coyotes while at the same time others were forced into more risky areas. Our results suggest that multiple behavioral strategies associated with spatial variation in basal prey abundance likely allow IG prey and IG predators to coexist. ?? 2010 Springer-Verlag.
Additional publication details
Prey-mediated avoidance of an intraguild predator by its intraguild prey