Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Iowa
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Iowa Project

Monitoring protocol for otter and bobcat in Iowa

April 2016 - December 2020


Participating Agencies

  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Goals and Objectives:
- Comparing conventional population indices to statistical population reconstruction (SPR) to determine if the SPR model provides superior inferences that warrant its use as an otter and bobcat management tool.
- Performing SPR to provide estimates on otter and bobcat survival, age structure, recruitment, harvest, and population trends in Iowa.
- Using GIS to develop a river otter habitat suitability map for Iowa based on the number of otters trapped per HUC 12 watersheds as a function of land cover and landscape metrics comparable to the suitability map developed for the bobcats.
- Validating the habitat suitability map created in item 3.
- Evaluating the value of current data sources and simulating potential gains by including additional auxiliary data for use in managing Iowan furbearers.
- Publishing a final report and outlining recommendations to the Iowa DNR for future furbearer monitoring.