Due to the increasing rate of urbanization and habitat fragmentation, generalist mesopredators are becoming increasingly more abundant. In order to understand how to manage these populations of mesopredators, an understanding of their interspecific relationships along with their activity patterns is necessary. There have been relatively few studies concerning the relationships between mesopredators within their guild and I set out to test whether there is any correlation between the densities of these species and the densities of their prey (small mammals and birds) and whether the raccoon is the main factor influencing these relationships due to its abundance in these areas. I used camera traps across four sites in southwestern Illinois (Sweet William Woods (SWW) on the campus of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, a private property in Edwardsville (PP1), John Olin Nature Preserve (JO) in Godfrey, and Pere Marquette State Park (PMSP) in Grafton) and one private property (PP2) site in Missouri to determine the relationship between the densities of members of the mesopredator guild along with their nocturnal activity patterns. Densities were estimated using a random encounter model (REM) that utilizes camera trap capture rates to determine densities for species in which the identity of specific individuals is unknown. Mesopredator surveys were conducted for two months in both spring and summer of 2017. Prey species surveys were conducted for using point count surveys birds and Sherman live traps for small mammals to determine the degree of relationship between densities of prey and predator species. Mesopredators detected were: raccoon ( Procyon lotor), opossum (Didelphis virginiana), coyote (Canis latrans), bobcat (Lynx rufus), red fox (
|Advisor:||Minchin, Peter R.|
|Commitee:||Essner, Richard, Lee, Danielle N.|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 57/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Camera trap, Mesopredator, Random encounter model|
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