Patterns of Carnivore Distribution and Occurrence in the Oklahoma Panhandle

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Michael J. Shaughnessy, Jr
Richard L. Cifelli


Carnivore distributions in the Oklahoma panhandle were determined through the use of baited, stainless steel tracking plates and verified with infra-red triggered cameras. Tracking plates were operated for two years covering four seasons (October 1995-February 1997). Six species of carnivores were detected in sufficient numbers to permit analyses during tracking efforts in the Oklahoma panhandle (Swift fox (Vulpes velox), coyote (Canis latrans), bobcat (Lynx rufus), spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), and badger (Taxidea taxus)). In general, Oklahoma panhandle carnivores were not distributed evenly across panhandle counties or habitats. Canid distributions were skewed toward Cimarron County, however individual canid species exhibited separate habitat preferences within counties. Mustelids and mephitids were distributed evenly across the broader panhandle landscape, but demonstrated clear habitat preferences when detection data were combined at the Family level. Carnivores were also sensitive to the presence of other carnivores within panhandle habitats.
This response was most pronounced between the canid species.

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Applied Ecology & Conservation