Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Coyote - Canis latrans
Coyote - Canis latrans

[Image: Canis_latrans.jpg]

Geographic Range
Coyotes are native to the Nearctic region. They are found throughout North and Central America. They range from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States, and Canada. They occur as far north as Alaska and all but the northernmost portions of Canada.

[Image: calamap1.png]

Coyotes are extremely adaptable and use a wide range of habitats including forests, grasslands, deserts, and swamps. They are typically excluded from areas with wolves. Coyotes, because of their tolerance for human activities, also occur in suburban, agricultural, and urban settings.

Physical Description
Mass : 7 to 21 kg (15.4 to 46.2 lbs)
Length : 75 to 100 cm (29.53 to 39.37 in)

Coloration of coyotes varies from grayish brown to a yellowish gray on the upper parts. The throat and belly are whitish. The forelegs, sides of head, muzzle and feet are reddish brown. The back has fulvous colored underfur and long, black-tipped guard hairs that produce a black dorsal stripe and a dark cross on the shoulder area. The tail, which is half the body length, is bottle shaped with a black tip. There is also a scent gland located on the dorsal base of the tail. There is one moult per year, which starts in May with light loss of hair and ends in July after profuse shedding. Coyotes are significantly smaller than gray wolves and much larger than foxes. Coyotes are distinguished from domesticated dogs by their pointed, erect ears and drooping tail, which they hold below their back when running. The eyes have a yellow iris and round pupil. The nose is black and usually less than one inch in diameter. The ears are large in relation to the head and the muzzle is long and slender. The feet are relatively small for the size of the body. The pes has four digits and the manus has five with a small first digit. Coyotes run on their toes (digitigrade). The dental formula is 3/3 1/1 4/4 2/3. The molars are structured for crushing and the canines are rather long and slender.

Sexual dimorphism: male larger.

[Image: coyote-2.jpg]

Breeding interval : Coyotes usually breed once each year. 
Breeding season : Breeding occurs from January to March. 
Number of offspring : 1 to 19
Gestation period : 65 days (high)
Time to weaning : 5 to 7 weeks
Age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female) : 9 to 10 months
Age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male) : 9 to 10 months

Courtship lasts for approximately 2 to 3 months. Female coyotes are monoestrous and are in heat for 2 to 5 days between late January and late March. Mating occurs within these 3 months. Once the female chooses a partner, the mates may remain paired for a number of years, but not necessarily for life.

Mating systems: monogamous .

Female coyotes gestate and nurse their young. Both male and female coyotes bring food to their young after they are weaned and protect their offspring. The young sometimes stay with the pack into adulthood and learn how to hunt during a learning period.

[Image: coyotepup7.jpg]

Parental investment: 
altricial ; pre-fertilization (provisioning, protecting: female); pre-hatching/birth (provisioning: female, protecting: female); pre-weaning/fledging (provisioning: female, protecting: male, female); pre-independence (provisioning: male, female, protecting: male, female); post-independence association with parents; extended period of juvenile learning.

Longest known lifespan in wild : 10 years (high)
Longest known lifespan in captivity : 18 years (high)
Coyotes have been known to live a maximum of ten years in the wild and 18 years in captivity.

Territory Size : 283 km^2 (high)
Coyotes are less likely to form packs than are wolves. Hunting, which takes place around the den, is done individually, in pairs, or in family units depending on prey availability. Coyotes are essentially nocturnal but can occasionally be seen during daylight hours. Although coyotes are capable of digging their own burrows, they often enlarge the burrows of woodchucks or badgers and use these as their dens. Dens are used year after year. There are several entrances to a single den. Coyotes leave their dens to defecate and urinate. Coyotes are capable of running at speeds up to 65 km/hr and they can jump distances of up to 4 m.

Home Range
Coyote ranges, which are usually defended only during denning season, may be as much as 19 km in diameter around the den and travel occurs along fixed routes or trails.

[Image: coyote-1.jpg]

Communication and Perception
Coyotes use auditory, visual, olfactory and tactile signals to communicate. They are the most vocal of all North American wild mammals, using 3 distinct calls (squeak, distress call and howl call) which consist of a quick series of yelps, followed by a falsetto howl. Howling may act to announce where territories are to other packs. Coyotes also howl when two or more members of a pack re-unite and to announce to each other their location. Their sight is less developed and is used primarily to note movement. They have acute hearing and sense of smell. They use stumps, posts, bushes or rocks as "scent posts" on which they urinate and defecate, possibly to mark territory. Coyotes are very good swimmers but poor climbers.

[Image: coyote.jpg]

Food Habits
Coyotes are versatile in their eating habits. They are carnivorous; 90% of their diet is mammalian. They eat primarily small mammals, such as eastern cottontail rabbits, thirteen-lined ground squirrels, and white-footed mice. They occasionally eat birds, snakes, large insects and other large invertebrates. They prefer fresh meat, but they consume large amounts of carrion. Part of what makes coyotes so successful at living in so many different places is the fact that they will eat almost anything, including human trash and household pets in suburban areas. Plants eaten include leaves of balsam fir and white cedar, sasparilla, strawberry, and apple. Fruits and vegetables are a significant part of the diet of coyotes in the fall and winter months. Coyotes hunt animals in interesting ways. When on a "mousing" expedition, they slowly stalk through the grass and sniff out the mouse. Suddenly, with all four legs held stiffly together, the coyotes stiffen and pounce on the prey. Hunting deer, on the other hand, calls for teamwork. Coyotes may take turns pursuing the deer until it tires, or they may drive it towards a hidden member of the pack. Coyotes sometimes form "hunting partnerships" with badgers. Because coyotes aren't very effective at digging rodents out of their burrows, they chase the animals while they're above ground. Badgers do not run quickly, but are well-adapted to digging rodents out of burrows. When both hunt together they effectively leave no escape for prey in the area. The average distance covered in a night's hunting is 4 km.
Animal Foods: birds; mammals; reptiles; carrion ; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods; terrestrial worms.
Plant Foods: leaves; fruit.

Known predators : 
humans (Homo sapiens) 
gray wolves (Canis lupus) 
mountain lions (Puma concolor) 
Coyotes are very secretive. Especially near human habitations they are active mostly early in the morning and late in the evening. Coyotes keep their young in or near the den while they are young so that the pups aren't killed by predators and competitors such as wolves and mountain lions.

Ecosystem Roles
Coyotes help in keeping many small mammal populations in check, such as mice and rabbits. If populations of these small mammals were allowed to become too large it would result in habitat degradation

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List: [link]: 
No special status.

Other Comments
Coyotes are one of the dominant terrestrial carnivores in North America, with humans and wolves being their greatest enemies.

Source - Canis latrans

[Image: coyote.jpg]
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Coyote interactions with other carnivores - cougars, bobcats & foxes.

Interspecific interactions

"Interspecific interactions can result in the death of a competing predator, or merely the exclusion of the subordinate species. Although aggressive interactions occur, most predators avoid contact. To determine if a predator is being excluded by another, studies are conducted on the dietary overlap and habitat use during different weather conditions, seasons, or years.

Mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes in central Idaho utilized different habitat and topographic characteristics during summer. Mountain lions and bobcats were associated with habitats providing stalking cover, whereas coyotes used open areas more frequently. The bobcat's inability to move through deep snow influenced use of areas in the winter. A greater degree of overlap of habitat and prey occurred during the winter as predators and prey moved to lower elevations.

Dietary overlap in winter resulted in mountain lions killing 4 bobcats and 2 coyotes near feeding sites. These attacks involved mountain lions defending or usurping food caches (Koehler and Hornocker 1991). Boyd and O'Gara (1985) reported that mountain lions were a major cause of mortality for bobcats and coyotes. Five of 8 bobcats and 3 of 7 coyote deaths were attributed to mountain lions apparently protecting food caches. Analysis of mountain lion food habits have found trace amounts of coyote, bobcat, and fox present in stomach contents (Robinette et al. 1959, Krausman and Ables 1981).

It has long been believed that coyotes outcompete bobcats, resulting in reduced populations of bobcats. Major and Sherburne (1987), conducting research in Maine, indicated that coyotes and bobcats shared home ranges, habitat use, and diets, but there was no data to support interference competition. Coyote and bobcat diets and habitat use overlapped in Oregon, however there was little competition between the two because prey populations were high (Witmer and deCalesta 1986). 

Litvaitis and Harrison (1989) studied bobcat-coyote relationships during a period of coyote expansion in Maine. Seasonal habitat use by coyotes varied more than bobcats, perhaps because of the greater variety of food items in coyote diets. They also indicate that bobcat food habits have changed since the arrival of coyotes to Maine. 

Litvaitis and Harrison (1989) found that coyotes did not displace or exclude bobcats. They speculated that coyotes have reduced the carrying capacity of bobcats by reducing prey availability and suggested that bobcat numbers will decline and stabilize at lower densities as a result of increasing coyote densities. They also report one incident of coyotes preying on a bobcat. Under the right circumstances it is not impossible for a coyote or group of coyotes to kill a bobcat.

Coyotes are believed to influence the distribution and abundance of red foxes (Sargeant 1982). Sargeant et. al (1993) reported study areas that had increased coyote track counts had a corresponding decrease in fox track counts. Major and Sherbure (1987) reported simultaneous locations of coyotes, bobcats, and foxes that shared ranges maintained distances between individuals. Avoidance is believed to be the principal motive for this spatial segregation. 

In areas where coyotes and red fox occur sympatrically, fox territories are located on the edges or outside of coyote territories. These data supported the conclusion of interference competition between foxes and coyotes (Major and Sherburne 1987). Schmidt (1986) suggested that red foxes are excluded or displaced from areas inhabited by coyotes. The fox seems to do well around human habitations because of the lower number of coyotes (Samuel and Nelson 1982). 

Schmidt (1986) cited references indicating that coyotes kill red foxes, although he indicated that coyotes are an insignificant source of mortality. Sargeant and Allen (1989) reported on coyotes' antagonistic behavior towards foxes and identified instances of coyotes killing foxes. However, they also cited radio-telemetry studies that found no mortality of foxes in areas inhabited by coyotes. "
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Impact of wolves (and cougars) on Coyotes

"Weaving A New Web: Wolves Change An Ecosystem
by Jim Robbins

In a field of snow brilliant in the winter sun, biologist Robert Crabtree bends over a dead, frozen coyote. Running a gloved hand through the thick gray and brown fur, he inspects it for signs of trauma. "We're looking for evidence that would fit the modus operandi of a wolf kill," says Crabtree, sounding more like a coroner than a biologist. "Has it been around wolves around the estimated time of death? Are there severe bites to the chest, broken ribs, internal bleeding, and possible torn ligaments and muscles around shoulders and hips. Because wolves pull a coyote apart. Mountain lions, on the other hand, are skull crunchers." 

Crabtree, who runs a private, nonprofit research institute called Yellowstone Ecosystem Studies, is inspecting a lot of wolf-killed coyotes in Yellowstone these days. Ever since Canadian wolves were brought to the national park to re-establish a population in 1995 and 1996, the coyote population has been going through a dramatic restructuring. Since 1989, the Bozeman, Montana-based Crabtree and his wife Jennifer Sheldon, an expert on canids, have followed 179 radio-collared coyotes in the park. Until the wolves came back it was one of the densest and most stable coyote populations in the country because of the lack of human impacts. 

But not anymore. In two years, 50 percent of the pre-wolf population of coyotes has been killed. And the re-appearance of the wolf has shaken the coyote social structure to its foundation. "They're being forced to shift their territories, and to give up their territories. If they don't, they get killed," declares Crabtree. 

Thirteen coyote packs with a total of 80 individuals lived in the remote Lamar Valley, one of Crabtree's study areas, before the wolf returned. Now there are nine packs with only 36 individuals, an abrupt change for a population that has been stable for more than half a century. Crabtree believes wolves could eventually kill two-thirds of the coyote population. 

It's not all bad news for coyotes. Those that survive, usually on the edge of wolf habitat, are flourishing. One pack, called the Amethyst pack, has ten members, the largest Crabtree has seen in the park. Most packs averaged six coyotes before the wolf. Crabtree says it’s because the wolves have made so much more protein available, in the form of dead elk. "If a coyote gets in there to a carcass, and doesn't get killed, it’s got a bonanza." 

Crabtree and Sheldon have also observed that coyotes have changed the places where they spend their time, moving from open meadows to steep terrain. "Carcasses in the open don't attract coyotes much, and if they do, they're very nervous," says Crabtree. "That's because when a coyote gets chased on the flats it’s often killed. In the hills and steep terrain they feel more secure and they can get away. A lot of times a coyote will lead a wolf downhill, and as the wolf comes after it, it turns around and runs uphill. Wolves are bigger and can't stop and the coyote gets a huge lead." 

And even though coyotes, at about 30 pounds, are a third the size of the average wolf, they are not pushovers. Only when a pack of wolves outnumbers coyotes do they attack; when there are more coyotes, they will attack wolves. Crabtree is not aware of any coyotes killing adult wolves, but thinks they might have killed some pups. 

Biologists watched one scene unfold in which four coyotes attacked a wolf pup. A female wolf chased the coyotes off, but eventually they turned on her and pinned her down. She escaped, and swam across the Lamar River, where she was attacked on the other side by another pack of coyotes. Amazingly, she survived."

Weaving A New Web: Wolves Change An Ecosystem
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

Wolf density aids pronghorn fawn survival

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

By Melanie Stein
Pronghorn survival may be closely related to wolf population density, according to Wildlife Conservation Society Research Ecologist Kim Murray Berger, but not in the way you might think.

Last week, Berger presented results from a critical study, “Conservation Implications of Food Webs Involving Wolves, Coyotes and Pronghorn,” part of her Ph.D. research at Utah State University, at the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance’s Info Lunch series.
Carnivore reintroduction is controversial because of the possible effects carnivores can have on human, pet and livestock safety. But Berger was more interested in looking at the effects carnivores have on other carnivores and the impact this may have on the larger food web.

“The idea that restoring top predators can influence species at lower trophic levels [i.e., positions on the food chain] is called ‘trophic cascades’ and it’s an active area of research,” Berger explained.

Her study shows why: Overall pronghorn populations in Grand Teton National Park have dropped by about 50 percent since the early ’90s, while coyote populations – the chief predators of pronghorn fawns in this
region – have been on the rise over the past 200 years.

“Coyotes used to be concentrated in the midwestern and western regions of the United States,” she said. “Now we pretty much see them from Maine to Florida, Alaska to Canada, and down into Mexico.”  This population boom and diaspora can largely be attributed to the elimination of wolves from most of the continent and adaptation to new habitats, she said.

Since the reintroduction of wolves to Wyoming in the mid ’90s, coyotes are more likely to be killed (but not eaten) by wolves because wolves see coyotes as potential competitors for food.

Berger selected three areas in northwestern Wyoming to study, two of which were inside Grand Teton National Park. One area had a high wolf density, one had a low wolf density, and one did not have a wolf population. Using radio collaring and ground and aerial telemetry, Berger observed coyote mortality in these areas and determined that 83 percent of coyote mortality was due to wolf depredation.

Berger found that wolves were largely responsible for transient coyote mortality (i.e. coyotes that roam between territories), and that coyote density was 30 percent lower in areas used by wolves. Berger then began to examine pronghorn fawn survival rates in those same areas and discovered  that the pronghorn fawn survival rate is five times higher in areas used by wolves.

Berger will be submitting her findings to journals in the coming weeks, which will summarize “how wolves are impacting coyotes, how interactions among wolves, coyotes and pronghorn are impacting pronghorn survival, and how changes in fawn survival rates will likely impact the overall pronghorn population in Grand Teton National Park,” she states.

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

The following details some fighting behaviors between eastern coyotes in captivity. The reference is: 

Silver and Silver, "Growth and Behavior of the Coyote-like Canid of Northern New England and Observations on Canid Hybrids", 1969, The Wildlife Society, Wildlife Monographs, 17 : pages 24-25

As you can see, quite a bit of the fighting was one on one and serious. Also, the fighting was confined to within each sex; with female fights being more frequent and violent.

[Image: EasternCoyotesFightinginCaptivity00.jpg]

[Image: EasternCoyotesFightinginCaptivit-3.jpg]

[Image: EasternCoyotesFightinginCaptivit-4.jpg]

[Image: EasternCoyotesFightinginCaptivit-2.jpg]

[Image: EasternCoyotesFightinginCaptivit-1.jpg]

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

Below are three studies on mountain lion and coyote predation in three areas. As you'd expect the mountain lion preys on ungulates more, but the performance of coyotes is surprisingly good.

Big Bend National Park

This is a summary of the frequency of prey items in the scats of mountain lions and coyotes during two periods from Big Bend National Park in Texas:

[Image: BigBendOverallPredationData001.jpg]

As you'd expect, deer makes much of the mountain lion's diet and a smaller percentage of the coyote's diet (with the bobcat being quite similar).


The next study is from the Bitteroot Mountains in western Montana.

This study compared mountain lion and coyote predation to roadkills. Roadkills were supposed to represent random deaths for deer, but the study actually showed the animals killed by automobiles were very weak. The reason was that the roads were in areas of deep snow, and weak deer would go to the plowed roads because they were easier to walk on. Unfortunately, these deer were less able to jump high snowbanks on the side of the road, and they were more often killed.

The graph below shows that mountain lions killed mostly prime-aged deer (both mule and whitetail) animals, most of which were males. Coyotes also killed mostly prime-aged animals, but they did kill some younger animals, and more females than cougars (though still more male adults overall). The roadkills had a lot of fawns and old animals based on the reasons above.

[Image: MontanaAgeSexPredationData001.jpg]

The condition of the deer killed by cougars and coyotes were generally good. Solid bone-marrow (the dark part of the graphs below) indicated that the animals were not starving and were in good condition. 

[Image: MontanaMarrowFatData001.jpg]

All 16 of the cougar kills were in good nutritional condition and 10 out of the 12 coyote killed deer were. However, 4 of these 10 coyote-killed deer had potentially other weakening conditions (1 had a healed broken leg, one had arthritis in the toes on one foot, and 2 had pnemonia in a small portion of thier lungs). 153 out of the road kills were in poor nutritional condition.

Both cougars, and coyotes killed animals from no snow to about 28 CM (~ 1 foot), though coyotes tended to kill a bit more in the deeper snow. These snow depths would not have been deep enough to severely restrict the deer.

The authors believed that cougars killed more male prime deer because they tended to roam areas where they could be ambushed.

Coyotes seemed to switch to deer from their preferred small mammal prey items when snow was present, and they were unavailable. Still, coyotes seemed capable of some impressive predation feats as shown here:

[Image: CoyotePredationonBuck001.jpg]

The authors also conclude that coursing predators (i.e. dogs) can take prey in similar condition to stalkers (i.e. cats) when they can effectively catch them (i.e. more cover and cooperative hunting).

Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains

This study is a far larger and more comprehensive study comparing mountain lion and coyote predation on mule deer to roadkills. 

The reference is:

Becky M. Pierce, Vernon C. Bleich, R. Terry Bowyer, "SELECTION OF MULE DEER BY MOUNTAIN LIONS AND COYOTES: EFFECTS OF HUNTING STYLE, BODY SIZE, AND REPRODUCTIVE STATUS", Journal of Mammalogy Vol. 81 Issue 2, May 2000

Here roadkills DID represent a random sample of deer deaths as snow depths were not significant near these roads.The average weight of adult male mountain lions was 121 lbs. and females were 88 lbs. No information was available on coyote pack size.

Overall, mule deer made up 73% of mountain lion diets and 17% of coyote diets.

The table below shows the number of adult and young deer killed by mountain lions and coyotes, along with the physical condition:

[Image: SierraPredationonDeerbyAge001.jpg]

Coyotes killed a higher percentage of adult deer (68%) vs. cougars (57%), but both were lower than autos (82%). The percentage of adults in good condition was slightly higher in cougars vs. coyotes (80% vs. 74%), and about the same as roadkills (80%).

The table below lists all deer killed by mountain lions & coyotes, including sex and condition:

[Image: SierraPredationonDeerbySex001.jpg]

Cougars killed a higher percentage of male deer, which was about the same as the roadkills.

The average age of deer killed in the study was 6 years for coyotes and cougars, and about 3.5 years for roadkills.

Interestingly, the study found that the types of cougars that took more adult deer was as follows:

Solitary Females
Females w/ Juevenile Offspring
Females w/ Kittens

The authors concluded that coyotes were no more selective  in hunting mule deer (i.e. taking weaker animals) than cougars, but did prefer to take smaller prey when they could.


IMHO, these studies show that western coyotes are respectable predators of small mammals (i.e. rodents), mid-sized animals (i.e. 10-40 lbs.) and ungulates up to the size of deer. Cougars are generally predators of mid-sized animals up to ungulates the size of elk. Thus, when it comes to deer, cougars will kill more of them than coyotes, but coyotes can be respectable predators of them. The ability of 2 coyotes to kill a 225 lb. healthy white-tail buck with a negligible amount of snow and predation figures that are comparable to the cougar in these two studies shows this IMHO.

Red Wrote:From Maze:


Deborah Holle 
Oklahoma Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 

Coyote scats were collected from the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge from May 1975 through May 1976 concurrent with studies of white-tailed deer fawn mortality. Volume and frequency of occurrence were determined for each food item. Rodents (45%) cattle (19%), lagomorphs (16%), deer (14%), armadillo (12%), and elk (9%) were the principal food items by frequency of occurrence identified in 671 scats. Rodents had the highest percent volume (28%) following by cattle (14%) and white-tailed deer (13%). Fawn hair occurred in 6% of the total diet by volume and appeared most frequently during the fawning season

A study of the food habits of the coyote (Canis latrans) was conducted on the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge (WMNWR) by collecting scats biweekly from May 1975 through May 1976 and analyzing the contents of the scats. The food habits study was conducted concurrently with studies of coyote home ranges and mortality of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginia) fawns. The purpose of this study was to document the percent volume and percent frequency of foods consumed by coyotes during the various seasons with special reference to white-tailed deer. Food habits of coyotes have been evaluated for western and west-central states , but few studies are available for Oklahoma  and none have been conducted in conjunction with other intensive studies of coyotes and deer. 

Evaluation of diet from scat analysis has limitations that include inability to determine whether ingested food was obtained as prey or carrion, failure of differential digestion rates of various foods to allow classification of material relative to time of ingestion , inability to determine if repeated visits are made to the same single food source , and inability to compensate for totally digested items. However, analysis of scats is the only currently available technique to study the food habits of the coyote in its natural environment without removing the animals

The WMNWR is located in Comanche County in southwestern Oklahoma and encompasses 23,917 ha in and adjacent to the Wichita Mountains. Mature and dwarf blackjack-post oak forests (Quercus marilandica and Q. stellata) cover 12,505 ha while a combination of short, mid-length, and tall grass prairies cover approximately 8,547 ha . Bison (Bison bison), Texas longhorn cattle (Bos taurus), elk (Cervus canadensis), and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virgianus) are the major herbivores on the refuge. Approximately one-third of the refuge is open to public use while the remainder is restricted in access and managed for wildlife. No special management activities were applied to coyote or deer populations on the refuge. Elk, bison, and longhorns were subject to annual reduction through hunting or sale.

Analysis of 671 coyote scats revealed that rodents constituted the most important food source both by frequency of occurrence and volume occurring in the diet of the coyote .
[Image: p11_15Table1.jpg]
Cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus), wood rats (Neotoma floridana), and pine voles (Microtus pinetorum) were major rodents identified. Plant material and insects ranked second and third respectively in occurrence but contributed little to the total volume of the diet .Only 92 rodents were trapped during 2,700 trap nights (3% success). 

Cattle hair ranked fourth by frequency of occurrence but was second in important by volume .Adult and calf hair could not be differentiated microscopically, but texture allowed classification. 

Lagomorphs were the fifth most important food item by frequency of occurrence and ranked fourth by volume .Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) made up 95% of the rabbits ingested. Lagomorphs were observed at a ratio of one lagomorph per 18 km of driving established routes. 

Deer hair ranked sixth by frequency but was the third most important item by volume .Fawn hair made up 6% of the total volume and appeared most frequently in May and June, the period when most fawns were dropped. Deer hair occurred in 14% of the coyote scats. Hair classified as originating from an adult (adults or molted juveniles) occurred in 8% of the scats. Sperry's study, as reported by Glass and Halloran,showed that deer hair occurred in 5% of the coyote stomachs examined in the late 1930's. 

Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) occurred in 12% of the scats and made up 6% of the diet .Generally only dermal bones and chips from other bones were found. Armadillo have expanded their range northward  since the 1930's. 

Elk hair occurred in 9% of the scats and made up 8% of the material in the scats .Elk calf hair was encountered only once during summer. A controlled hunt was held on the refuge in December, and carrion related to the hunt is believed to be the source of elk consumed. 

Feathers and an occasional foot or beak of birds were found in small amounts but occurred in 14% of the scats .Scats collected during winter had the highest incidence of bird remains. Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and meadowlarks (Sturnella spp.) were the most frequently identified birds. Eggshells were encountered in scats collected in spring and probably were from ground-nesting birds. Skunk (Mephitis mephitis), raccoon (Procyon lotor), unidentified reptiles, and unassimilated animal tissue comprised the remainder of the material encountered. 

Chi-square tests indicated significant (p > 0.05) differences between food items occurring in scats collected from Burma 

Road and Pinchot Pasture. Fawn, elk, and cattle hair were found more frequently in scats collected from the Pinchot Pasture. 

A seasonal shift occurred in the diet of the coyote .
[Image: p11_15Fig1.jpg]
Coyotes shifted from rodents and cattle in the spring to fawns, rabbits, and armadillos during summer. Calves may be less available to predation or scavenging at this time of year, and rodents might be relatively more difficult to capture. Use of deer, armadillo and rabbits show a slight decline in frequency from summer to fall. Increase in frequency of elk hair suggests that coyotes altered their diets in autumn. 

Occurrence of fawn hair peaked during the latter half of June .
[Image: p11_15Fig2.jpg]
and continued until October. Adult hair first appeared in August, reached its peak in November, and continued to appear into April. Steele reported that fawns on the WMNWR suffered high mortality between July and January. The hunting season in Oklahoma occurs in November, and the deer hair eaten during that period may represent carrion available because of hunting or from other mortality factors. Knowlton reported similar peaks in occurrence of deer hair in coyote scats in south Texas where a dramatic increase in June coincided with the fawning season. Knowlton reported a second peak of occurrence of hair during December. He suggested 

that the increase in December might be due partly to carrion available from natural mortality. 

A synopsis of finding from other studies shows the most important food sources of coyote to be rodents and lagomorphs. 
[Image: p11_15Table2.jpg]
Rodents were also the most important food item in the present study. The occurrence of cattle hair was generally reported with a high degree of frequency. Hair from deer was recorded in only half of the studies, and when reported, occurred with less frequency. Plant material was ingested by coyotes with regularity but volume was minimal. 

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

maze Wrote:Coyotes£ºBiology, Behavior and Management>Marc Bekoff, Ronald D. Andrews

[Image: 051650_1142466060_vdbuciyh.jpg]

other coyote info

Very interesting information; thanks for posting it Maze.

In the winter studies here, it appears that a substantial amount of deer, raccoons and porcupines are predated upon/consumed. Interestingly, in some other areas (i.e. Kansas) racoons are killed and not consumed much (i.e. interspecific predation - to remove a competitor).

From what I've read on coyotes is that they are amazingly adaptable creatures. When rodents are plentiful, they tend to consume a lot of them, but they also predate on some mid-sized prey and deer too (as your other post of the study from Oklahoma shows).  In winter, the amount of deer and other larger prey shoots up because larger prey are more vulnerable (i.e. snow cover) and also because small prey is less available (i.e. harder to catch mice under snow). From what I've read, scientists have tried, but not too successfully, to prove what is the driving force behind this "prey-switching" phenomenon. 

I imagine since coyotes are not too much smaller than 21 KG (the general cut-off point where predators above this weight predominantly kill prey bigger than themselves) that they may have to kill some prey equal to or greater than their size.

Red Wrote:From Maze:

Observed Interactions Between Coyotes and Red Foxes

Alan B. Sargeant  &  Stephen H. Allen

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are believed to influence the distribution and abundance of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) (Sargeant, 1982). Examples of inverse relations in abundance of the two species are numerous (Dekker, 1983; Goldman, 1930; Johnson and Sargeant, 1977; Linhart and Robinson, 1972; Sargeant, 1982; Schmidt, 1986). Populations of both species are composed primarily of territorial family groups. In allopatric populations, territories tend to be contiguous and nonoverlapping (Andelt, 1985; Sargeant, 1972). In sympatric populations, red fox territories straddle the periphery or are located largely outside of coyote territories (Major and Sherburne, 1987; Sargeant et al., 1987; Voigt and Earle, 1983). Avoidance of coyotes by red foxes is believed to be the principal cause of spatial separation (Sargeant et al., 1987). 
Few published accounts of interactions between coyotes and red foxes are available. Both species tend to be nocturnal and secretive; interspecific encounters rarely are seen. For example, Major and Sherburne (1987), Sargeant et al. (1987), and Voigt and Earle (1983) observed no interspecific encounters during extensive radiotracking of sympatric coyotes and red foxes. Sargeant et al. (1987) found that coyotes and red foxes from families with overlapping territories avoided interspecific encounters. However, Goldman (1930), Voigt and Earle (1983), and Young and Jackson (1951:93) reported that coyotes sometimes kill red foxes, especially in traps. Dekker (1983) observed several instances of coyotes chasing red foxes, and Major and Sherburne (1987) reported coyotes killed one-four red foxes in a previous study. Dekker (1983) also observed adult red foxes barking at coyotes near fox-rearing dens; Voigt and Earle (1983) reported an instance of coyotes and red foxes rearing pups about 1 km apart. In this paper we report additional accounts of interactions between coyotes and red foxes that aid in understanding relations between these species. 

We solicited accounts of coyote-red fox interactions from university and natural-resource-agency personnel in several states and provinces of the midcontinent region and from other individuals in the region known or recommended to us. We requested accounts of coyotes killing red foxes and vice versa, coyotes chasing red foxes and vice versa, coyotes visiting rearing dens of red foxes when pups were present and vice versa, coyotes and red foxes simultaneously rearing pups in nearby dens, and coyotes and red foxes near each other without evidence of antagonism. 

We received 42 accounts of coyote-red fox interactions from 28 people (includes two accounts made by us). Except for one observation made in California in 1965, they were from the midcontinent region, mostly North Dakota, and were made during 1970-1985. 

Most (71%) accounts described aggression by coyotes toward red foxes. Eight accounts described free-ranging foxes known or presumed to have been killed by coyotes. In a September interaction, two coyotes were observed traveling together along a hay meadow when a fox took flight. The coyotes chased and quickly killed the fox. Later that day the observer found and examined another freshly killed fox in the same area; the fox had been bitten severely, presumably by coyotes. In a January interaction, tracks in snow showed two coyotes had chased and killed a fox but left it intact. In an April interaction, tracks in snow showed two coyotes pursued a fox (lactating female) into a shallow pond where it was caught, pulled to shore, and killed. The four other interactions each involved single, freshly killed male foxes found during September-February. Three of these were examined and each had multiple severe bites on various parts of the body. Seventeen accounts described trapped (leg-hold) or snared foxes killed by coyotes. Many of these foxes were described as mauled, ripped apart, or fed upon. Five accounts described single coyotes chasing single foxes. Two chases were in spring; dates of others were not provided. One chase was interrupted when the coyote (adult female) was shot. 

We received one account of a fight between a coyote and a fox. It occurred in January and was observed for about 10 min before being interrupted. The coyote repeatedly attempted to catch the fox by biting it in the flanks but the fox escaped by jumping high and running. Examination of snow at the site of the fight revealed coyote and fox fur, and a trail of blood left by the fox. 

We received three accounts involving a total of eight fox pups found dead at or near six rearing dens of foxes; all were believed to have been killed by coyotes. We found four of the pups, all on the same day, at three dens located within 3 km of each other in an area believed to have been inhabited by coyotes recently. The dens continued being used by remaining live fox pups. The four dead pups were intact and necropsy of two not badly decomposed revealed bite marks on the head or throat. 

One account described defensive behavior by an adult fox toward an adult coyote. The fox and coyote were seen approaching a fox-rearing den that had six pups above ground. Three pups ran into the den but the others remained above ground. The adult fox remained about 30 m behind the coyote but occasionally circled it, and "howled hoarsely and loudly." The coyote walked stiffly with rump elevated but never lunged or chased the fox. When the coyote was about 50 m from the den it turned and left in the direction from which it had come, this time with the fox ahead of it. The fox then ceased howling. 

We received three accounts of simultaneously occupied coyote- and red-fox-rearing dens located near each other. The dens were 0.8, 1.2, and 1.6 km apart; in the latter instance both dens were on a 2.6-km² island. 

Four accounts described interspecific indifference; all occurred during winter. One person reported that while conducting aerial deer (Odocoileus sp.) surveys he often saw coyotes and red foxes, apparently unconcerned with each other, in the same 0.65-km² unit. One account was of a coyote and red fox observed simultaneously feeding on remains of a butchered cow at an occupied farmstead during extremely cold weather. Another was of a fox observed trotting downwind of a bedded coyote. The fox detected the coyote and circled to within 20 m of it. After a few minutes the fox left; the coyote left in another direction a few minutes later. The fourth account was of a coyote that came within 100 m of two foxes mating. The coyote watched the foxes for several minutes then left. 

These accounts and those cited previously show that coyotes often are overtly antagonistic to red foxes. We obtained no reports of red foxes being antagonistic to coyotes except when attacked by coyotes or when their pups were approached by coyotes. The fact that coyotes are larger than foxes and that two or more coyotes often travel together and may cooperate in killing prey (Andelt, 1985; Young and Jackson, 1951:97) makes red foxes vulnerable to coyote-inflicted mortality. 

Antagonistic behavior by coyotes toward red foxes occurs throughout the year and may be directed at foxes of all age and sex classes. The aggression can result in death of adult foxes although the frequency of such mortality among free-ranging foxes may be low. Voigt and Earle (1983) reported no coyote-inflicted mortality among 117 red foxes radiotracked in a coyote-inhabited area of Ontario; Major and Sherburne (1987) reported no coyote-inflicted mortality among four red foxes radiotracked in a coyote-inhabited area of Maine. Sargeant et al. (1987) found no coyote-inflicted mortality among 22 red foxes under radio surveillance for 2,518 fox-days in a coyote-inhabited area of North Dakota although one tagged (not radio equipped) juvenile fox apparently was killed by coyotes (included in our results). 

The relatively common occurrence of coyotes killing foxes in traps likely results from inability of trapped foxes to flee or adequately defend themselves. Many trapped foxes reported killed by coyotes possibly were dispersing juveniles caught inside coyote territories. Long-range dispersal of juvenile foxes occurs during fall and winter (Storm et al., 1976), when foxes are trapped for fur, and dispersing foxes travel through coyote territories (Voigt and Earle, 1983). 

The accounts we received showed that coyotes occasionally kill fox pups at dens but there is no evidence this is a major source of mortality for foxes living among coyotes. Dekker (1983) inferred that red foxes often den in the immediate vicinity of farms to seek refuge from coyotes but reported no instances of coyote-inflicted mortality on fox pups. Sargeant et al. (1987) also found that in sympatric populations red foxes den closer to occupied farms and roads than coyotes. During 1980-1984 we visited 48 fox-rearing dens on a 313-km² area in northwest North Dakota where coyotes were common; we found no evidence of coyote disturbance to the dens or of coyotes killing fox pups. The arrangement of the coyote and fox dens on that area indicated families of each species were separated spatially in the manner described by Major and Sherburne (1987), Sargeant et al. (1987), and Voigt and Earle (1983); most fox dens were near farms and roads. 

Although red foxes have reason to fear coyotes, they frequently may be near coyotes without showing apparent concern, and coyotes encountering foxes may not respond aggressively. The observed communal feeding by a coyote and fox, and the reported instances of coyotes and foxes rearing pups near each other, reveal the high degree of interspecific tolerance that can occur. Nevertheless, it is advantageous for foxes to avoid encounters with coyotes because each encounter includes risk of injury or death. This mixture of coyote aggression and indifference toward red foxes may explain gradual changes in fox populations in the wake of changes in coyote populations (Sargeant, 1982) and the presence of some red foxes among coyotes for years (Sargeant et al., 1987).

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

From the book "Deer" by Duane Gerlach:

[Image: CoyoteKillingBuckPhoto001.jpg]

[Image: CoyoteKillingBuckPhoto002.jpg]

[Image: CoyoteKillingBuckPhoto003.jpg]

[Image: CoyoteKillingBuckPhoto004.jpg]
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Coyote kills harp seal

Jonathan G. Way and Jay Horton

This note details the killing of a harp seal Pagophilus groenlandia by an eastern coyote Canis latrans on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It is believed to be the first documentation of a canid killing an adult or nearly full-sized phocid.

Coyotes are known to consume a diverse array of foods (Andelt 1985, Parker 1995) including animals much larger than themselves such as deer (Odocoileus spp. - Patterson et al. 1998) and elk (Cerous elaphus - Gese and Grothe 1995). Coyotes specialize on certain food types in different regions and seasons. For example, coyotes fed on raccoons Procyon lotor on an island in Maine (O'Conne1 et al. 1992), snowshoe hares Lepus americanus and white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginian us in New Brunswick (parker and Maxwell 1989), hares in the northern boreal forest in Yukon, Canada (O'Donoghue et al. 1998), woodchucks Marmota monax and fruits in Quebec (Crete and Lemieux 1996), livestock where available (e.g. Sacks et al. 1999), fruits in various regions and small mammals throughout its range (e.g. Hidalgo-Mihart et al. 2001). Coyotes have even been documented to consume allochthonous food supplies from the sea (Rose and Polis 1998).However, marine
mammals (e.g. phocids) have not been considered to be a significant food source for coyotes, although they have been recorded killing seal pups and/or scavenging seal (any age class) carcasses (both harbor seals Phoca vitulina and ringed seals P. hispida) on beaches (Steiger et al. 1989).

Other terrestrial predators known to prey on seals include polar bears (Ursus maritimus - see Furgal et al. 1996 for a review), brown hyaenas (Hyaena brunnea - Skinner et al. 1995), domestic dogs (Lucas and Stobo 2000), grey wolves (Meiklejohn 1994), black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas - Oosthuizen et al. 1997), Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus - FurgaI et al. 1996), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes - Andriashek and Spencer 1989). However, we are not aware of any literature that describes canid predation on adult or nearly full-sized phocids. Meiklejohn (1994) believed, but did not document, that wolves could sneak up on seal hauling sites to catch harbor seal pups (and possibly adults) during the summer.

This note describes the events of an individual coyote successfully catching and killing a nearly full-sized harp seal on Nauset Beach in Orleans (Cape Cod), Massachusetts, USA.

On 27 January 2002 at 05:55h, the second author (JH) was standing near the east end of the Nauset Beach trail crossover (marked as "Number One") when he heard a guttural scream and a deep canine growl. He observed a coyote struggling with an animal larger than itself that was dragging the coyote around the beach in an attempt to escape. The coyote attempted to drag an adult or yearling-sized harp seal carcass into the protective cover of the dunes. As the observer approached to within approximately 100m, the coyote dropped the seal then ran into the dunes. The seemingly dead seal then rolled approximately 7m down the berm towards the water and the observer waited for one hour, but the coyote did not return. Visual inspection revealed no traces of the coyote except for tracks heading away from the beach (Figure 1).

[Image: Coyoteseal1.jpg]

The beach is normally 100-200m wide, which allows the seals to haul up just above the high tide line yet rest a good distance (ca. >50m) from the cover of the dunes. However, massive erosion during winter 2002-2003 nearly eliminated this buffer zone so the seals were required to haul themselves out very close to the dunes. Post-attack track evidence on the ground indicated that this seal was resting approximately l0m from the dune and 20m from the water. The attack occurred during low tide.

The seal thrashed and dragged the coyote around an area of at least 225m2. That area included tracks of both animals and a large volume of the seal's blood. The seal came within 7m of reaching the water.
Visual and photographic evidence of the wound indicated that upon contact the coyote immediately grabbed the seal's throat" maintained a firm grip, and efficiently severed its jugular vein. There were no other wounds found on the carcass (Figure 2).

[Image: Coyoteseal2.jpg]

Upon post-mortem inspection, the seal was found to be still warm 80 minutes after being killed despite an outside temp of 0.C (-29.C with windchill). The seal's length was estimated at approximately l20-l40cm and 50kg in weight, which is considerably heavier than coyotes captured on Cape Cod (-15-20kg- Way 2000). There was no evidence to indicate that this seal was not in good health prior to the attack.

Prior to this observation, JH twice saw dead seals that were killed in a similar manner during the winter months but originally attributed them to a marine predator (e.g. shark - Lucas and Stobo 2000) rather than a terrestrial one. Injured and dead seals on Cape Cod with wounds that were possibly caused by canids have also been observed by others on Cape Cod (Peter Trull, Centre for Coastal Studies; Kristen Patchett, Cape Cod Stranding Network; and Pieter deHart, University of Alaska). Future research should document if coyotes from Cape Cod and other coastal regions commonly prey on phocids.

For a copy of the .pdf -
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

Summary: The information below shows that 2 coyotes can kill adult cow elk (weigh around 500 lbs.) in poor condition and/or with the help of deep snow conditions. Coyotes in this area, Yellowstone National Park, only average about 25-30 lbs.

Coyote Food Habits in Yellowstone Before Wolf Reintroduction Were Very Flexible

The study below from Robert Crabtree can be found here:

(P 15-23)

The graph below shows that coyote's food habits varied throughout the year - they preyed on different animals based on their availability. The area below the line for each prey represents the percentage of the coyote's diet made up of that item. For example, elk calves made up 45% of the coyote's diet in June. As you can see,  adult elk made a significant portion of the coyote's diet in winter - about 80%. Since 74% of the elk were scavenged, approximately 21% (26% * 80%) of the coyote's winter diet was made up of adult elk they killed. This portion of the coyote's diet will be the focus of the rest of this post.

[Image: CoyoteFoodSourcesinYellowstone001.jpg]

Coyote Predation Vs. Other Predators - Overall Impact is Significant, But Coyotes are Much Less Adept at Killing Adult Elk than Cougars

The graph below shows that coyotes killed more elk than any other predator in Yellowstone. However, this was because there were many more coyotes than cougars and bears. On a per capita basis, each cougar killed 36 elk per year vs. 3 elk per year for each coyote. Furthermore, cougars killed a greater proportion of adult elk. Grizzly bears primarily killed very young elk calves when the bears could catch them.

[Image: CoyoteBearandCougarPredationinYello.jpg]

Detailed Study of Coyote Attacks on Elk and Deer

The study below details 9 predation attempts of coyotes on elk and deer and analyzes them. Coyotes were successful in 5 of 9 attempts and the alpha male usually led such attacks. The study's abstract is as follows:

[Image: CoyotesPredationonElkSummary001.jpg]

Coyote Pack Structure During Study (Before Wolf Reintroduction) - Very Wolf-Like

The coyote pack structures are listed below. Note that most packs consisted of a breeding adult pair, pups and young adult/yearling offspring. One pack had an old adult as well.

[Image: CoyotesPackStructurePre-WolfReintro.jpg]

The Attacks on Elk and Deer

#1 - Deer wards off two 1 year old female coyotes:

[Image: CoyotesHunt1001.jpg]

#2 - Adult cow elk and calf escape 4 coyotes (alpha pair, 8 year old beta male and unknown beta male) by running across a creek. Cow elk wards off 1 beta male after other two coyotes leave.

[Image: CoyotesHunt2001.jpg]
[Image: CoyotesHunt2Part2001.jpg]

#3 - Alpha male and beta male (either 1 year old or unknown age) bring down a 2 year old adult cow elk. The coyotes initially attacked the elk in snow 41 CM deep (not deep enough to seriously impede an adult elk), but killed the elk when the elk ran into deep snow. During the initial attack, there must have been a serious struggle as two coyotes were lifted off the ground. Also, note how two other coyotes were 200-300 meters away, but did not participate in the kill - though they did feed on it. Finally, the elk had white and firm marrow, which doesn't indicate malnutrition. However, something else could have been wrong with it.

[Image: CoyotesHunt3001.jpg]

#4 - Alpha male and alpha female kill 15 year old cow elk in poor condition. While the elk was clearly in poor shape (brown gelatinous marrow and bedded in one area for 12 days), it did put up a good fight.  She tried to kick off the attacking the coyotes, and lifted the male coyote completely off the ground and also dragged both coyotes during the attack. Snow depth of 47 CM would likely not have seriously impaired this adult elk. Note that two year-old coyotes were near the elk and never attacked it either before the alpha pair arrived or during the alphas' hunt. The entire attack lasted 22 minutes.

[Image: CoyotesHunt4001.jpg]

# 5 - Elk calf (which can weigh nearly 225 lbs. by this time of year) is attacked and wounded by some coyotes, but apparently escapes.

[Image: CoyotesHunt5001.jpg]

# 6 - Alpha pair attack elk calf, which temporarily escapes in a river. Coyotes eventually kill it. Elk calf's marrow (white and firm) appears normal. Snow depth at beginning of the attack (61 CM) would have seriously impeded the elk, but its not clear what the snow depth was for the rest of the attack.

[Image: CoyotesHunt6001.jpg]
[Image: CoyotesHunt6Part2002.jpg]

# 7 - Three coyotes (alpha pair and 1 year old/unknown age beta male) killed an elk calf in poor condition (red gelatinous marrow). Snow depth of 58 CM probably impeded the elk calf. Note that one coyote applied a neck hold, and the elk died about 5 minutes later.

[Image: CoyotesHunt7001.jpg]

# 8 - Alpha coyote pair kills elk calf in poor condition (red gelatinous marrow fat) and with the help of deep snow (elk calf's rear leg caught in snow drift at the end of the attack). However, this attack also had a great struggle. The elk calf kicked, spun and lifted one coyote off the ground. The male apparently killed the elk calf with a neck hold.

[Image: CoyotesHunt8001.jpg]

# 9 - Alpha coyote pair attacks elk calf - calf's counter attack allows it to escape. The elk calf kicked the alpha male coyote's shoulder and side, stunning the coyote, and the elk calf escaped to the security of the herd.

[Image: CoyotesHunt9001.jpg]

Alpha Pair of Coyotes, Especially the Alpha Male, Are the Primary Coyotes Involved in Attacks

All kills made were done by the alpha pair, and other coyotes made no kills without either alpha present. This data is similar to wolf predation, where 2 out of 3 prey caused mortalities were among alpha males.

[Image: CoyoteAlphaHuntRoles001.jpg]
[Image: CoyoteAlphaHuntRolesPart2002.jpg]

Coyotes Pack Members Other Than the Alpha Pair Contribute Little to Hunts

The average size of coyote groups killing elk was 2 and group size (over 2 coyotes) had no impact on hunting success. Many instances of coyotes pairs attacking prey with other pack members present, but not participating, occurred. Since these coyotes would later feed on the carcasses, pack-life seems more like a feeding rather than a hunting adaption.

[Image: CoyotePackRoles001.jpg]

Prey Behavior Influences Hunting Success

Elk and deer in groups were much safer as were ungulates that retreated into water (where the longer legged ungulates have an advantage).

[Image: ImpactofPreybehavior001.jpg]

Coyote Attack Points on Elk - Primarily at the Rear

Coyotes initially attacked elk from the rear, especially their legs, trying to wound them first. This is a common technique used by wolves, especially on very large prey (bull elk, moose and bison). Coyotes did sometimes apply neck holds, though this seems more common with elk calves than adult elk.

[Image: AttackPoints001.jpg]
[Image: AttackPointsPart2001.jpg]

Duration of Hunts Vary Greatly

Hunts varied in length from 14 minutes to 21 hours. Wolf hunts lasting 21 hours sometimes occur with larger species, such as moose and bison.

[Image: DurationofHunts001.jpg]

Snow Depth Influences Hunting Success

Average snow depth of successful hunts was 57 CM and unsuccessful hunts was 37 CM. 57 CM would be close to the depth that seriously impeded adult elk and would likely seriously impede elk calves. However, if the snow is not crusty (i.e. both elk and coyote sink in deeply) then the coyote would be more disadvantaged due to its shorter legs. 2 of the 5 successful hunts apparently involved coyotes that also sank into the snow, possibly not giving them any advantage.

[Image: SnowConditions001.jpg]

Prey Condition Influences Hunting Success

As would be expected, coyotes are more successful with prey in poor condition. 3 of the 5 elk killed had poor nutritional condition verified by their marrow fat. The other 2 elk killed with "normal" marrow fat could possibly had something else wrong with them, especially since they were alone, however this cannot be confirmed.

[Image: PreyCondition001.jpg]

Red Wrote:From Dasyurus:

I must admit to being one who had overlooked the coyote as an impressive carnivore, but the information in this profile has certainly changed my mind regarding that.

Just some information regarding the Social organiisation of coyotes.

Dominance Hierarchy

Coyotes have well developed dominance hierarchies within the pack which is adhered to once the hierarchy is established through ordered fights between competing coyotes. The hierarchy may change if a member is forced to leave the pack or if the pack accepts a new member (Bekoff & Wells; Gompper 2002). In addition, if an alpha male dies or gets replaced, the alpha position is always filled from within the pack (Gese 2001).

Packs & Mated Pairs
Coyotes which live in northern and western areas of their range display more developed and complex social systems than coyotes found in the southern and eastern areas of their range (Chamberlain et al. 2000). All coyotes travel and live together either in groups of three or more individuals called packs, as mated pairs, or as solitary individuals, called transients (Andelt 1985; Bekoff & Wells 1980; Chamberlain et al. 2000). The basic unit of a coyote pack is the mated pair. The mated pair is always comprised of the alpha male and alpha female, which are typically the only individuals to breed in the pack. To form a pack the mated pair is accompanied by pack associates who can be genetically related or unrelated individuals (Bekoff & Wells). Coyotes may live in packs because they are able to better defend resources such as food caches or carrion (Bekoff & Wells 1980). This beneficial adaptation would allow individuals in that pack to access more resources and therefore give the alpha male’s pups a better chance of surviving to maturity. This also may have evolved in areas with high competition pressures from the wolf before it virtually disappeared from the coyote’s habitat. In general, more coyotes live in packs, approximately 70%, than coyotes that live as mated pairs, approximately 17%. The other 13% accounts for transient individuals. Packs make up a large percentage of the population because pups will stay with their parents up to one year after birth. If resources are very scarce pups may stay for a longer time period with their parents becoming pack associates before venturing off to find their own territory (Andelt 1985). There are many benefits that coyotes receive by living in a pack. These benefits include a better and more efficient defense of the pack’s resources, and the pack is able to locate food sources more easily with additional members. In addition, pack associates take some of the strain off the breeding female from searching for food to defending the territory while allowing her to conserve energy and have healthier, longer living pups although this isn't necessary for the pups (Bekoff & Wells 1980). The social organization of the coyote is based on food availability and social intolerance within the group structure. During times of food shortage the pack will force subordinate individuals out of the group that then become transient (Gese et al. 1989).

[Image: coyotes1.jpg]

The transient status is generally not a desirable way of living for the coyote. This can be seen in the demographics of the transient populations. Transient individuals are either yearlings, indicating they recently left the protection of their birth pack, are disabled, diseased, or elderly. Its believe that transients acquire their low status because they are for some reason unable to compete within the hierarchy of the pack and are subsequently ejected from pack life (Gese et al. 1988). Transient individuals also have a much higher mortality rate than coyotes living in either pairs or packs. This is because they don’t have access to easily accessible resources and they gain protection from other individuals as do coyotes living in a mated pair or in a pack (Andelt 1985; Atwood & Weeks; Kamler & Gipson 2000). Although transient individuals have the lowest social status they are not necessarily doomed to the transient lifestyle. Transients that are healthy year old coyotes or individuals that are recovering from a disease may be accepted into a pack if the mated pair approves (Kamler & Gipson 2000). Although transient coyotes may live the undesirable life, there are some benefits to being solitary. The main benefit is access to rodents which are the transient coyote’s major food source. Rodents are a resource which is hard to defend by a large pack of coyotes or mated packs and is difficult to share amongst many individuals. Transient coyotes are able to gain access to the rodents and don’t have to share their food with other individuals as a in the pack's situation (Bekoff & Wells 1980).

Pack Associates
Pack associates are either the grown pups from previous litters or are unrelated coyotes which were accepted into the pack by the mated pair (Bekoff & Wells 1980). If coyote density is high and emigration rates are low than a larger percentage of pack associates will be related to the mated pair (Andelt 1985). These additional members aid in obtaining resources, defending resources, and raising pups within the pack. In addition, pack associates increase the pack’s access to larger ungulate prey because there are more individuals to coordinate better hunting strategies (Geffen et al. 1996). Although the aid pack associates contribute to the pack may be beneficial, they are not critical for the mated pair’s pups to survive. This is demonstrated by mated pairs that successfully raise their pups without the aid of pack associates. The relationship between pack associates and the mated pair is an example of alloparenting. The pack associates receive more benefits than the mated pair or pups gain from them. First, they gain the protection of the pack. This is important to their survival because transient living, their other option besides being a part of the pack, has been shown to have much higher mortality rates. Secondly, the pack associate has a chance of inheriting the territory if one of the parents is sick or is killed and they are able to secure the alpha position. The third benefit is the valuable experience they gain by helping to raise the mated pair’s pups which will help them raise their own pups in the future (Bekoff & Wells 1980; Geffen et al. 1996; Kamler & Gipson 2000; Gese 2001). Since the parents receive little to no necessary aid from the pack associates, their helping behavior is considered to be selfish cooperation. 

[Image: coyote800x600.jpg]

Howling Behaviors
Coyotes have at least three different types of vocalizations used in various situations. The first call is lone howling done by a single coyote. Lone howling lasts a long period of time and has a higher pitch compared to the other types of calls. This call is thought to be a type of communication by lost or separated members of a pack. The second type of vocalization is group howling. This type of call is characterized by several coyotes each giving a lone howl at the same time. The third type of vocalization is the group-yip howl. The group-yip howl is identified by patterned high intensity yips and howls performed by multiple coyotes in a group. Both the group howling and group-yip howling appear to serve the same functions. One function is to advertise the location of the group’s territory and the second is to coordinate group hunting strategies (Bender et al. 1996; Gese 2001; Gompper 2002). By announcing the general area of a coyote pack’s territory they can reduce the risk of encountering another pack of coyotes which may result in a violent and costly fight (Bender et al. 1996).

Coyote (Canis latrans)
Social Organization

Red Wrote:From Dasyurus:

Although nearly 10 years old, the following article, is a very interesting read in relation to coyotes in the wild dealing with wolves and in urban areas dealing with humans.

The Coyotes of Lamar Valley

In Yellowstone, the master adapter learns to deal with wolves 


Described by a trapper in the 1830s as a "beautiful Vale" with "wild romantic scenery," the Lamar Valley stretches 1 to 2 miles wide and 7 miles long. High, rounded hills snuggle around the sagebrush and meadow of the valley floor. With its abundance of elk, bison, and other big game, this corner of Wyoming is sometimes called North America's little Serengeti. A river even runs through it. 

Animal ecologists are drawn to this piece of Yellowstone National Park to study the hidden ways of coyotes. Coyotes are common and extremely successful throughout North America, even in urban areas (see sidebar), but they are wary of people and stay largely out of sight. Most of what scientists know about their behavior has come indirectly -- not from observation, but from radio signals transmitted by animals that have been caught, fitted with a collar, and released.

In their Lamar Valley sanctuary, coyotes are usually indifferent to people -- or even curious about them -- giving researchers a rare opportunity to observe the animals directly. "As long as you sit and watch, they don't mind you being there," says Eric M. Gese of Utah State University in Logan. His recently published studies, based on 2,500 hours of observation over 3 years, detail coyote life in the valley.

Until a few years ago, however, something had been missing from the ecosystem. Wolves were eradicated from Yellowstone and most of the United States by the 1930s, leaving the coyote as top dog in the game-rich preserve. 

Then, in 1995, amid much fanfare, the National Park Service released a group of Canadian wolves into the valley (SN: 11/30/96, p. 344). From their hillside perches, researchers are now watching the two canines get reacquainted. 

There have been more than a few dogfights and a significant number of coyote deaths. Robert L. Crabtree of Yellowstone Ecosystem Studies in Bozeman, Mont., is studying the dynamics of the wolf-coyote interaction for the park service. He estimates that the coyote population was down by about 50 percent at the start of this, the third winter with wolves. Yet researchers have little doubt that the adaptable coyote is learning to cope with the newcomer and will remain an important, if chastened, predator in the system.

Animal ecologists have been studying the Lamar Valley coyotes off and on since the 1930s. In addition to the animals' amenability, the lay of the land lends itself to research into animal behavior. The hillsides form natural observation posts with a good view of the relatively narrow valley and the resident coyote packs. 

"Once you get some snow, they're highly visible," Gese says of the animals. He spent 3 years in Lamar, beginning in 1991, before the wolves arrived, gathering baseline data on 50 coyotes in five packs.

Each winter morning before sunrise, he and his coworkers got up, layered on underwear, fleece, and outerwear, then left their uninsulated wood cabin to hike slowly up the snow-packed hillsides. They would spend the 12-hour day with spotting scopes trained on particular packs and individuals and record the frequency of their behaviors -- traveling, howling, hunting, feeding, resting, socializing, marking, sitting, or other activities, such as digging. Around a full moon, the scientists would take turns keeping an eye on the animals at night, too.

With abundant prey and no other competition in the valley, the coyotes carried on like wolves, the researchers found. Instead of socializing in twos or threes, as coyotes do elsewhere, they maintained packs of up to 10 animals. The social structure within the pack mimicked that of wolves, with a ruling, or alpha, male and female usually as sole breeders.

"The alpha male is cop of the territory," says Gese. This male spends a lot of his active time scent marking -- urinating, defecating, or scratching the ground -- Gese reports in the November 1997 Animal Behaviour. The alpha male makes five marks per hour, more than twice the rate of beta coyotes. Scent marking warns neighboring coyote packs not to stray across territorial boundaries.

When an intruder did venture over the line, the alpha male would give chase and the intruder would typically exit -- "very fast," says Gese. If the alpha male caught the intruder, the animals would roll and spar, but the intruder was never killed -- a difference from wolf behavior. 

Once the intruder managed to get out, "the resident would break off the chase literally right at the border," says Gese. "There it would bark and scent mark and scratch the ground, make quite a commotion for 10 or 15 minutes, then head back to the pack or whatever it was doing."

Most of what it was doing was resting, especially during the deep snows of the winter months, according to a May 1996 report by Gese, Robert L. Ruff of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Crabtree in the Canadian Journal of Zoology.

The well-insulated coyotes coped with extreme cold by bedding down individually. "I've watched them lie down in a snowstorm and basically become a white lump in the sagebrush," says Gese. 

The snow and brutal temperatures helped the coyotes hunt elk and other ungulates. Although they do not depend on these prey, as wolves do, the coyotes took advantage of them in winter, when it didn't take much to bring down the nutritionally stressed ones. "Statistical carrion," Gese calls them.

The coyotes caught elk or deer in five of nine attempts that the researchers observed during winter. For the rest of the year, voles and other small mammals were the coyotes' dietary staple, although coyotes will consume almost anything, a key factor in their adaptability. 

With wolves now installed in the valley, coyotes are adopting new feeding habits. They have taken to scavenging the carcasses left by their more efficient cousins -- when the wolves will let them.

After wolves have killed an elk and eaten a meal, they get "meat drunk," says Crabtree. "They go waddling off for 4 or 5 hours with 15 pounds of meat in their stomach." That's when coyotes move in and scavenge.

Upon their return, wolves will often chase off or attack a scavenging coyote, lunging at and biting the animal for up to 15 minutes. In the course of nearly 1,000 hours of observation, Crabtree and his coworkers witnessed coyotes clashing with wolves 33 times. In 10 instances, the coyote was killed.

It's not literally a dog-eat-dog world, however. "They're killed and left unconsumed, which is evidence that it's competition, not predation," Crabtree says.

Sometimes the wolves tolerate the coyotes. Crabtree says he's seen them feeding side by side on a carcass. In this and other interactions, "it's a numbers game," he says. "Crudely, five coyotes are equivalent to about two wolves." The social status and appetites of the animals also play a role.

As the coyotes have begun to learn about safety in numbers, their packs have become more cohesive though smaller, says Crabtree. They are also rearranging their territories and avoiding the wolves' high-use areas. "They're living on the edge of wolf packs, and they're trying to stay out of an encounter." 

Of the 80 well-studied coyotes that maintained a stable population in the early 1990s, Crabtree says, 36 were still alive as of November 1997. He describes the unfolding dynamic in a chapter of Carnivores in Ecosystems, due out next year from Yale University Press. 

There are models from other areas that may predict what will happen in Lamar Valley. In Minnesota, as wolves expanded their range in one northern area, they completely eliminated a dozen radio-collared coyotes, says Bill Berg, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Natural Resources in Grand Rapids. To avoid the wolves, the coyote population has shifted south. 

Gese says he thinks the situation in Yellowstone will probably mimic that in Montana's Glacier National Park, where wolves arrived on their own from Canada in about 1986 and began reestablishing themselves.

Wendy Arjo of the University of Montana in Missoula has been studying 18 radio-collared coyotes in the park over the past 3 years. She compares her observations with those from a 1980 study, before the wolves returned.

The Glacier coyote population is persisting, although it "does appear to be smaller," says Arjo. "Predators do take a heavy toll." Of her original 18 subjects, 6 have been killed by cougars and 2 by wolves. Three others are unaccounted for.

She has noted other changes in the population. The coyotes have moved away from wolf territories and changed their diet, eating fewer hares and more ungulates, probably from scavenging wolf kills.

Perhaps the most interesting change is morphological. "Coyotes are bigger now," significantly so, Arjo says. The average male coyote has grown from 11.8 kilograms in 1980 to 13.9 kg. Females have grown from an average of 9.9 kg to almost 12 kg. They are longer, too -- by more than 12 centimeters, on average. They may be thriving from the scavenged carcasses, or the smaller coyotes may simply have been killed.

A similar pattern will probably develop in Yellowstone, Arjo says. "I don't think the wolves will wipe out the coyotes. . . . [The coyotes will] definitely figure out who to stay away from. They're pretty flexible."

It's the coyotes' flexibility that accounts for their success, the researchers say. "'Wily coyote' is a pretty good label," says Gese.

He has seen their guile up close. 

While studying one of the packs in the valley, "I had this sensation that something was right behind me," Gese recalls. When he eased around, he came face-to-face with one of the beta coyotes, about 5 feet away. A piece of telemetry antenna lay on the ground between them.

With golden eyes focused on the parka-clad figure, the coyote "slowly lowered his mouth, grabbed the antenna, and started backing up with it." As soon as the researcher raised his hand, the coyote dropped the antenna and walked off.

On another occasion, the scouting coyote didn't bother to sneak around. Gese watched a young beta male break away from its pack, cross the river, and climb the hillside to where he was perched. The coyote sat down about 10 feet from Gese and seemed to watch the pack as well, Gese recalls. "After about 15 minutes, he got kind of bored, curled up, and took a nap." An hour or so later, the coyote got up, stretched, yawned, and loped back down the hill. 

Coyotes will respond to anything novel in their environment, Gese says, whether a shiny piece of metal or a man.

In the Yellowstone wolves, they have both something new and something old. "Coyotes coevolved with wolves," says Crabtree. "They know how to withstand mortality. They become wary." Indeed, coyotes managed to flourish under the same intense campaign of predator control that all but eliminated wolves. 

The ultimate winner of the canine competition is the Yellowstone ecosystem, Crabtree says. As in Minnesota, red foxes have appeared in the wolves' new territory, which they avoided when coyotes were in charge. Without as many coyotes, there are more small mammals available for raptors and other predators to eat. 

"Coyotes will decrease," says Crabtree, "but that will cause nothing but an increase in [species] richness."

The Urban Coyote

With its attackers in hot pursuit, the coyote ran for cover, where it hid for 2 1/2 hours. 

The setting was downtown Seattle, the attackers a flock of crows, and the refuge an open doorway to an elevator in the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building. 

That unusual chase scene took place late last year, according to the Associated Press. The report comes as no surprise to the small group of researchers studying the habits of the urban coyote.

In the last several decades, coyotes have expanded their traditional range in the United States by two-thirds. With the elimination of wolves as competitors and changes in land use, coyotes have fanned out or been transported from their traditional home in the West. They now occupy every state in the continental United States, including hospitable territory in or around many major cities, where their only predator is the car. 

"They do well in cities," says Eric York, a National Park Service researcher. He is studying radio-collared coyotes that live half an hour from downtown Los Angeles in the Santa Monica National Recreation Area.

The animals enter urban areas at night, where they hunt rabbits and squirrels that live around the well-watered lawns. Ever the opportunist, coyotes will take the occasional dog as well. York says they also eat apricots and plums from backyard trees.

In Chicago, coyotes live in and around the city in the county's network of nature preserves. Roughly 40 percent of their diet consists of rabbit and 20 percent is deer, according to Wiley Buck of the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. The remainder is a mix of raccoons, other small mammals, fruit, and "traces of domestic cat and garbage." 

There is one major urban frontier coyotes haven't seemed to cross. Contrary to Internet postings, there are no coyotes living off cats and leftover lo mein in New York's Central Park, according to Gordon Batcheller of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany. However, they have been sighted, he says, passing through the Bronx to greener, outlying spaces. 

Science News Online

Red Wrote:From Taipan:

Are Coyotes Becoming More Aggressive?

Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News

June 7, 2005
For many people, hearing coyotes howl in the distance is a beautiful experience. But a face-to-face encounter with the predators can leave a different impression. 

Scientists say these adaptable animals could be becoming more aggressive and less fearful of humans—to the detriment of both species. 

Wildlife specialist Robert Timm, of the University of California's Hopland Research and Extension Center, has documented some 160 coyote attacks and dangerous incidents over the past 30 years in California alone. 

"There is an increasing problem with coyotes losing their fear of humans and becoming aggressive," Timm said. 

"We've seen any number of instances where they came into a fenced yard and killed a small dog or cat," he added. "And we've documented pets taken from a child's arms or off a leash when being walked." 

Working with Rex Baker of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services staff, Timm has developed a coyote-attack computer database. 

The researchers are using the tool to search for patterns of precursor behavior—actions that might signal when coyotes are starting to become aggressive toward humans. 

The scientists are also searching for possible solutions to what they see as a growing dilemma. In many U.S. states booming human populations and development have led to more people moving into and living in traditional coyote country. 

Wolf Relative

Coyotes are smaller, more solitary relatives of wolves. Coyotes once lived exclusively in the U.S. western Plains states. Today the adaptable animals populate every U.S. state except Hawaii and range from Alaska to Central America. 

The problem of human-coyote encounters does not lie with those animals that live in their traditional wilderness habitats. Rather the problem rests with those wily animals that have adapted to life in suburban and even urban environments. 

Suburban patchworks of cover, such as small wooded areas and brush, combine with open areas to provide coyotes with good hunting grounds. And in some major metropolitan areas, like suburban Los Angeles, coyotes have become a problem. 

California Department of Fish and Game spokesperson Lorna Bernard notes that much of the Golden State is prime habitat for the opportunistic animals. 

"They are scavengers as well as hunters, and they are very smart," she said. "When they learn that people aren't a danger to them, they become very brazen." 

We've had quite a few attacks," she continued, "but people don't typically get seriously hurt." 

In California there has only been one documented human death attributed a coyote attack. The incident occurred about two decades ago, when a coyote killed a young girl in Glendale. 

Timm and Baker list some 35 other coyote attacks over the past three decades on small children that could have been fatal, had an adult not intervened. 

Eastern Coyotes Flex Muscle 

Close human-coyote encounters are not restricted to California. In New York State, wildlife biologist Gordon Batcheller studies coyotes from his post at the state's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). 

He said coyotes are "becoming habituated to humans and human environments, and adapting their behavior to ours." 

From the coyotes' perspective, this human environment "is a 'subsidized environment,' meaning it provides an artificially high amount of foods with an unnatural absence of threats," Batcheller said. "These adaptable animals take quick advantage of these unnatural environments." 

At Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, wildlife biologist Paul Curtis and his team are beginning a five-year study of coyote ecology and behavior, funded in part by the state's DEC. 

"The goal of the project is to look at changes in both coyote and human behavior that may be leading to more conflicts and complaints," Curtis said. 

New York DEC officials estimate that 20,000 to 30,000 coyotes live in the state. 

Curtis describes a progression of behavior in so-called problem coyote areas. First, the generally reclusive animals are increasingly spotted in daylight hours. Next, pets begin to vanish from yards and are even snatched off leashes by coyotes. 

"That's the last stage before a human attack," Curtis said. "And we're at that stage in New York now." New York wildlife officials hope to head off such conflicts before a serious attack or death occurs. 

Most coyotes, even those living near humans, are seldom seen and are reclusive. But dealing with human-adjusted animals is a management challenge. 

"It appears to be a learned behavior," Curtis noted. "Certain animals seem more adapted to an urban environment. They catch a few cats and say, Hey there is abundant food here." 

Animal control officers are experimenting with ways to reintroduce fear of humans in coyotes that have lost it. Many states have open season on coyote hunting. But the practice is controversial and often impractical in suburban and urban areas, where most problems occur. 

Other non-lethal methods, including rubber buckshot and fencing, have met with mixed results. 

"If they persist in aggressive behavior, the ultimate solution would probably be to remove problem animals," Curtis said. "Nobody is happy about that." 

Human Causes? 

Meanwhile, Timm's data suggest that certain areas seem more predisposed to coyote-human conflicts. 

"The data on pet losses in recent years is not very different in the states of Texas and California," the University of California wildlife specialist said. "Yet there have been few, if any, human attacks [by coyotes] in Texas." 

No one is certain what might account for the discrepancy. 

"We're speculating at this point, but something is different about southern California, and in many cases we think that intentional feeding in neighborhoods is a factor," Timm said. "It's probably more typical than we know." 

"People in Texas don't have a kind of Disney attitude about animals," he added. "There may be more of that rancher mentality, where everybody recognizes that we don't want [coyotes] in the neighborhood." 

Scientists stress that respect for animals, especially predators such as coyotes, means keeping them wild. 

"Don't feed them, either purposely or inadvertently, and stay away from animals that show no natural fear," Batcheller, the New York wildlife biologist, cautioned. "Like other wildlife, coyotes should be enjoyed and appreciated, but from a distance. It does this species no good to encourage abnormal behaviors." 

As Curtis, the Cornell wildlife biologist, noted, "Hearing [coyotes] howling in the woods at night is a wonderful thing. And that's where we want to keep them—in the woods, away from people."

RedFrom Reddhole:

Below is a video of a coyote feeding on a carcass, which the person believes was killed by a coyote the night before.

Caption: This is an EXTREMLY RARE video. It is the first footage of a coyote eating on the island of newfoundland. It provides a lot of information on coyotes and is vital for figureing out the mentalities. I have contacted the wildlife department of newfoundland and they have shown much interest in my footage. This footage was filmed on March 25, 2007. The feeding shots were filmed at about 12 noon, I later walked over to the caribou carcus and took pictures and got some video. Crows had picked the eyes out, and the coyote had been eating away at the back and the ribs were exposed. I beleive it was taken down over night by the coyote. There was a huge gash in the neck where the coyote had killed it and there was lots of blood on the ice. If you are interested in seeing the full 11 minute video please contact me.
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Red Wrote:From Taipan:

Coyotes Cower in Wolf Territory

By LiveScience Staff

posted: 11 September 2007 12:28 pm ET

Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf? Coyotes. 

While coyotes are top wildlife predators in many parts of the country, they seem to be wary of their Canis cousin, the wolf, with coyote densities dropping by a third in wolf territory, a new study finds. 

The research, detailed online by the Journal of Animal Ecology, examined the effects of wolves on coyote populations in Grand Teton National Park and the southern greater Yellowstone ecosystem. 

Researchers followed radio-collared coyotes and found that while there are always more coyotes than wolves, there were fewer coyotes in the places where the two species overlapped. 

Coyote densities were 33 percent lower in the areas they shared with wolves in Grand Teton and 39 percent lower in the areas of Yellowstone where wolves were recently reintroduced. 

About 16 percent of radio-collared coyotes were preyed upon by wolves, the study found. 

Relative safety came only in numbers as coyotes without packs were more likely to become the wolves' dinner. Lone coyotes were also much more likely to leave an area inhabited by wolves than coyotes living in packs. 

“The study tests the hitherto unproven hypothesis that wolves limit the range and numbers of coyotes in places where the two species compete with one another,” said study leader Kim Murray Berger, a Wildlife Conservation Society researcher. “In this instance, the findings do support the theory, but coyotes can hold their own against wolves by living in packs.” 

Humans are actually a bigger threat to coyotes than wolves, with 29 percent of the coyote mortality in the study attributable to human activities.

[Image: 070911_coyote_generic_02.jpg]
A lone coyote is more likely to avoid wolf country because he doesn't have the safety of a pack.

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

"Unfortunately, this is the only otter that's been spotted at Trout Lake in 2007. It's been reported that a coyote killed an adult and two pups in the spring, so Trout Lake's reputation as an otter hot spot may not last long."

Red Wrote:From maze:

weight measurement of coyotes from different regions of NA
[Image: 1f9c3f7d.jpg]

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

Below is an account of a western coyote killing an
adult female mule deer in northern California. 
The deer, at 2-4 years, was of prime age and 
weighed 59 KG and appeared in decent shape. 
Coyotes in northwestern California average 
11.6 KG for males and 10.4 KG for females.
As a result, the deer was approximately 5.1 - 5.7 times
heavier than the coyote.

[Image: CoyoteStranglesDeer001.jpg]

[Image: CoyoteStranglesDeer002.jpg]

Red Wrote:From reddhole: 

The account below shows an adult male fisher killed by a single or a group of coyotes. The author seems to use "coyotes" generally as species, but only found tracks of a single coyote near the fisher that was killed. In addition, the incident occurred in early September, which is a time coyotes are generally alone in this area. IMHO, a single coyote likely killed this fisher for these reasons.

Female and male coyotes average 11.9 KG and 14.2 KG, respectively in the area. The adult male fisher weighed 4.8 KG. As a result, the coyote would have outweighed the fisher by a 2.48 - 2.96 : 1 margin  - right in the normal range for mammalian interspecific predation (2.0 - 5.4 :1).

Source: Brundige, G.C. 1993. Predation ecology of the eastern coyote Canis latrans var., in the central Adirondacks, New York. Ph.D. Dissertation. State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, 194 pp.

[Image: Adirondackcoyotekillsmalefisher001.jpg]

[Image: Adirondackcoyotekillsmalefisher002.jpg]

[Image: Adirondackcoyotekillsmalefisher003.jpg]

Other coyote predation events on fishers:

Quote:Here is a post I made last year. 

Quote:There have been cases of both western and eastern coyotes killing fishers. According to one fisher researcher I contacted, a coyote "would handle a fisher." I posted that email on AVA when I participated in that forum.

Here is some more information:

Mortality and Survival

Where trapping of fishers for fur is permitted, it is typically the largest source of fisher mortality (Douglas and Strickland 1987). Fishers may also be killed by vehicles, predation, fighting,
disease, infections, starvation, poisoning, accidents, and debilitation from porcupine quill (Strickland and Douglas 1984, Douglas and Strickland 1987, Proulx et al. 1994). Male fisher
pelts commonly (40-50%) show scarring from intraspecific fighting (Douglas and Strickland 1987). Fighting may account for a significant portion of natural mortalities among males. In
Maine, Krohn et al. (1994) found that death of 94% of 50 radio-collared fisher were human related; trapping accounted for 80%, illegal shooting 6%, road-kills 4%, and one fisher died after
its radio-collar got caught on a branch. Of 3 natural mortalities, one fisher died choking on deer cartilage, one of an infection, and the last was killed by coyotes (Canis latrans) (Krohn et al.
There are few data on the frequency of predation on fishers. Douglas and Strickland (1987) stated that hawks, great horned owls (Bubo virginianus), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes),
bobcats (Lynx rufus), lynx (Lynx canadensis), and black bears (Ursus americanus) may prey on fishers, especially kits. They also reported a fisher killed by dogs (Canis familiaris). In Montana, Roy (1991) reported that of 32 radio-collared fishers transplanted from Minnesota, 3 males were killed by mountain lions (Felis concolor), 2 females by coyotes, 1 male by a wolverine, 1 female by an eagle, and another female by a lynx.

The second fisher (Fi7), an adult male, was recovered near a moose kill. Based on field observations and necropsy, we concluded that a coyote had killed this fisher.'s%2520Annual%2520Field%2520Report%25202002.pdf+fisher+coyote+maine+vashon

This is the same study that documented fishers killing adult female Canadian lynx.

Red Wrote:From taipan:

Observations of Coyote–Cat Interactions
Shannon E. Grubbsa and Paul R. Krausman1b

aGraduate Research Assistant, University of Arizona, School of Natural Resources, Biological Sciences E 325, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA 

bBoone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife, Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, USA 


Coyotes (Canis latrans) pose a risk to domestic cats (Felis catus). We captured, radiocollared, and tracked 8 coyotes from November 2005 to February 2006 for 790 hours in Tucson, Arizona, USA. We observed 36 coyote–cat interactions; 19 resulted in coyotes killing cats. Most cats were killed in residential areas from 2200 hours to 0500 hours during the pup-rearing season. Single coyotes were as effective killing cats as were groups (>1) of coyotes. Documented cases of predators killing cats could encourage cat owners to keep their cats indoors and assist wildlife managers in addressing urban wildlife issues.

Journal of Wildlife Management 73(5):683-685. 2009 
doi: 10.2193/2008-033

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

Coyote kills family's dog, injures their other pooch

SHERWOOD, Ore. - A coyote attack has left a Sherwood family wondering if wild animals in their area are becoming more aggressive.

Saturday night, in the family's fenced backyard, a coyote killed one of their dogs and injured another.  Odie, a 15-month-old Labrador, died of a wound to its throat and the other dog, a 3-year-old Labrador named Roger, survived with bite and puncture wounds to its muzzle and paw after hiding in a dog house.

Jeff Robinson said he often sees coyotes in the early morning, in the evening and hears them at night.  He said sometimes as many as four or five of them will run through the yard.  But he never thought an attack would hit so close to home.

"I'm just thankful Roger's OK but it's hard losing a friend," he said.

The family plans to build a taller fence and put barbed wire on top to protect their surviving dog.

[Image: Labkilledbycoyote.jpg]
Odie did not survive the attack.

[Image: Labinjuredbycoyote.jpg]
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Red Wrote:Coyote predation on Rattlesnakes

taipan Wrote:"I have seen dogs kill rattlesnakes by shaking them in their mouths. Coyotes will kill them the same as a dog."
Rattlesnakes By Laurence Monroe Klauber

[Image: coyoterattlesnake.jpg]
Timber Rattlesnakes in Vermont and New York By Jon Furman

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

Below is a story on two Nova Scotia coyotes killing
a 19 year old woman. These eastern coyotes average
about 35 lbs. and prey mostly on deer as
shown in this post I made on them awhile back (reposted
at the bottom of this post).

Toronto singer killed by coyotes
Rare attack occurred at Cape Breton Highland National Park in Nova Scotia
Raveena Aulakh Staff reporter
Published On Wed Oct 28 2009

Toronto singer and songwriter Taylor Mitchell was attacked by coyotes in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
Facebook photo

Taylor Mitchell, a 19-year-old Toronto singer whose debut album was released in March, has died in a Nova Scotia hospital after being mauled by coyotes in a Cape Breton park.

Mitchell was hiking Tuesday on the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park when she was attacked by two coyotes. Another hiker, who was walking nearby, heard her cries for help and called 911.

Officers arrived about 3:15 p.m., and one of the coyotes fled into the bush. The other coyote was shot and limped away.

Mitchell was airlifted to a hospital in Halifax, where she died early Wednesday.

Her mother, Emily, was with her at the hospital, said Lisa Weitz, Mitchell's manager.

The singer and songwriter, who loved the outdoors, had started her East Coast tour on Oct. 23 in New Brunswick and was scheduled to perform in Sydney tonight. "She had a small break and (she) wanted to go hiking," said Weitz.

Mitchell, whose MySpace photograph has her standing in the woods with a guitar in one hand, released her debut album this March.

A website review describes her album as "a collection of mostly original songs that showcases a range of styles, from folk to country-rock to pop."

Born and raised in Toronto, Mitchell studied music from an early age and graduated in 2008 from Etobicoke School of the Arts.

She was very excited to be touring the Maritimes, said Weitz. "She was just exhilarated to be on the road and performing."

Friends and family are in shock, said Weitz.

In Nova Scotia, Don Anderson, a biologist with that province's Natural Resources Department, said coyote attacks in the area are uncommon, but they do happen from time to time.

An Ontario girl was bitten on the same trail several years ago, Anderson said.

Ethel Merry, owner of the nearby Cheticamp Motel, said the incident was unfortunate but she wasn't surprised to hear about it. She said the motel is about 10 kilometres from the entrance of the park but she often sees coyotes.

"My home is a 100 feet from (the motel) but if it's dark outside, I don't walk alone," she said. "I've seen too many coyotes."

Merry said the attack hasn't fazed locals or park visitors. "Skyline Trail is one of the most beautiful and famous trails in the park. This isn't stopping any hikers," she said.

The park is on the northern tip of Cape Breton Island.

Quote:Below is an analysis of the studies of Brent R. Patterson on coyote predation on white-tail deer in Nova Scotia. The following sources were used:

Patterson and Messier, "Age and Condition of Deer Killed by Coyotes in Nova Scotia", Canadian Journal of Zoology, Vol. 81 P 1894-1898

Patterson and Messier, "Factors Influencing Killing Rates of White-tailed Deer by Coyotes in Eastern Canada, Journal of Wildlife Management, 64: P 721-732

Brent R. Patterson PhD Thesis:

Brent R. Patterson Summary Report:

Summary: The studies above show coyotes can prey on white-tailed deer at a low-moderate level under normal conditions, and can prey heavily on them under favorable conditions (i.e. deep snow, etc.). 

Study Area:

The study was conducted in two areas of Nova Scotia - Queen's County and Cape Breton. As indicated below, Queen's County normally has pretty mild winters with snow depths rarely exceeding 20 CM and according to research I've read white-tailed deer become severely impaired at snow depths > 41 CM. However, in the first part of the study (1992-1994) Queen's County had severe winters so snow depths may have exceeded these levels. In the second part of the study (1995-1997), Queen's County had mild winters, so snow depths probably rarely exceeded these levels. Cape Breton normally had severe winters.

[Image: SnowConditionsNovaScotia001.jpg]

Hunting Success - Single Coyotes Made a Significant Number of Kills With Similar Hunting Success as Groups

The chart below shows that single coyotes made 22.9% of deer kills by coyotes and had higher hunting success rates (40.9%) than groups of 2 or 3 coyotes, but less than groups of 4 or more coyotes.

[Image: CoyoteScatinNovaScotia003.jpg]

However, the amount of kills made by single coyotes may have been understated since many times single coyotes would break off from their pack while hunting to make kills unassisted as discussed below. They also mention that previous studies may have not documented many single coyote kills due to these studies not intensively tracking lone coyotes. Also, as described in the following excerpt, groups of 4 or more coyotes did not have a significantly higher level of hunting success than single coyotes when differences in snow depth were accounted for (i.e. the hunting success figures above had groups of 4 coyotes make more kills in deeper snow) EDIT: The original excerpt I included, which was too small to read, stated this about groups of 4 not being more successful when snow depth differences were accounted for.The more legible one below, which is from an older paper by Patterson, doesn't say this.

[Image: SingleCoyoteHuntsDescription001.jpg]

Age of Deer - Adults are Killed

As the table below shows, a significant number of adult deer were killed by coyotes ("predation" caption). Also, note that the Queen's County 1995-1997 period was a mild winter (snow depths were usually not deep):

[Image: AgeofCoyote-KilledDeerinNovaScotia0.jpg]

Condition of Deer Killed - Generally Good

As you can see below, adult deer killed by coyotes were in predominantly in good condition (most > 80% marrow fat) and were comparable to road-killed deer (presumably representing the average condition for all deer):

[Image: ConditionofCoyote-KilledDeerinNovaS.jpg]

Some further detail showing that the condition of coyote-killed deer was mostly pretty good. Also, notice the similar results from Maine and the Adirondack Mountains in New York (Brundige, 1993):

[Image: ConditionofCoyote-KilledDeerinNo-1.jpg]

How Coyotes Tend to Kill Deer in Winter - Use Deep Snow, Ice and Ambush

As the excerpt below discusses, coyotes tend to often kill deer when they have an advantage, such as crusty snow, frozen ice, or ambushes of bedded down deer:

[Image: HowCoyotesKilledDeerinNovaScotia001.jpg]

Also, as you'd expect coyotes killed more deer when snow depths were deeper:

"Our prediction that chases would be more
successful and shorter when thick, dense snow
conditions inhibited deer movements proved
correct. Kills occurred significantly more often
when the sinking depth of snow was more than
30 cm than when snow was shallower."

However, less obvious is the fact that coyotes had an easier time killing deer when deer were in smaller groups (i.e. lower densities) for the following reasons:

"We found that coyotes killed more deer in lower
density areas than in higher density areas. It is
more difficult for small numbers of deer to detect
predators and create hard-packed trails to escape
predators. We conclude that individual deer were
more vulnerable to predation where their densities
were low."

As the evidence above indicates coyotes tend to kill deer much more when they have the advantages of deep snow and/or ice; however IMHO they do sometimes kill deer without these advantages (albeit at a much lower rate) for the following reasons:

1) Coyotes kill adult deer in all seasons:

As the scat data below, and in other studies, indicate adult deer occur in coyote scats throughout the year (but at lower levels than winter):

[Image: CoyoteScatinNovaScotia004.jpg]
[Image: CoyoteScatinNovaScotia005.jpg]

2) A significant number of kills occurred in Queen's County from 1995-1997, a period when snow depths rarely, if ever exceeded the depths that would severely hamper adult deer.

3) The account from my earlier post in this thread showing 2 coyotes in Montana killing a 225 lb. "healthy" white-tailed buck with only 2.5 CM of snow.

4) The additional scientific and anecdotal accounts that I will present later in this thread.

Red Wrote:From Taipan:

Hunter shoots unusually large coyote in Northwest Missouri

[Image: bigcoyote.jpg] 
A deer hunter shot this unusually large coyote in Carroll County 

Published on: Dec. 13, 2010
Posted by Jim Low

JEFFERSON CITY Mo – DNA tests show that a 104-pound canine shot by a hunter in Carroll County Nov. 13 was an unusually large coyote.

The hunter shot the big canine on opening day of Missouri’s November firearms deer season, thinking it was a coyote. Coyotes are legal game during deer season. However, when the hunter saw the animal’s size, he wondered if he had mistakenly shot a wolf. He reported the kill to Conservation Agent Marc Bagley. Bagley took possession of the animal and turned it over to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Resource Science Division for identification.

Resource Scientist Jeff Beringer said the MDC staff took measurements and collected tissue and hair samples for DNA analysis. The test showed the animal was a coyote.

According to Beringer, the coyote was a male approximately 3 years old. It had no tattoos, microchip or evidence of ear tags that would indicate it might have escaped or been released from captivity.

The coyote’s size and the size and shape of its feet were similar to those of a wolf, leading to speculation it could be a coyote-wolf hybrid. Gray wolves, also known as timber wolves, once inhabited northern Missouri but were gone from the state by the late 1800s, due to hunting and habitat loss. Wolves persisted in Minnesota. From there, they dispersed into Wisconsin and Michigan, which now have wolf populations of their own.

The last record of a gray wolf in Missouri was of a young male mistaken for a coyote and killed by a bowhunter in Grundy County in October 2001. A radio collar and ear tag linked that 80-pound wolf to Michigan.

The Wild Mammals of Missouri, the definitive text on Show-Me State mammals, indicates a normal weight range of 18 to 30 pounds for coyotes. However, much larger specimens have been documented in other states.

Wolves are a protected species in Missouri. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the grey wolf is listed as a federally endangered species in the lower 48 states, except in Minnesota and where there are non-essential experimental populations.

Beringer said the MDC has never stocked wolves and has no plans to restore them to Missouri.

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

Latest research on coyotes and bobcats. Bobcats avoid coyotes spatially due to risk of intraguid predation and apparently flee when hearing recorded sounds of coyote. A bobcat (sex/age not given) was killed by a coyote prior to this study in Texas:

Source: Ryan R. Wilson · Terry L. Blankenship ·
Mevin B. Hooten · John A. Shivik Oecologia; 164:921-929;
"Prey-mediated avoidance of an intraguild predator
by its intraguild prey" 2010
DOI 10.1007/s00442-010-1797-8

The relationship we found between bobcats and coyotes is
intriguing given the relative rarity of coyote predation on
bobcats. Others have also shown that IG prey can exhibit a
behavioral response towards IG predators, even though predation is rarely observed (Sergio et al. 2007; Zuberogoitia
et al. 2008) and indirect predator effects can have an equal or
greater effect on prey population (Creel and Christianson
2008) and community dynamics (Creswell et al. 2010). Bobcats
on the study site have been found to react negatively to
the perceived presence of coyotes: when presented with a
coyote call playback at a relatively short distance (approx.
20 m), a bobcat immediately ran for the closest dense vegetative
cover R. Wilson, personal observation). While no bobcats
were killed by coyotes during our study, during a
previous study on the refuge, a bobcat was killed by a coyote,
coinciding with a period of low prey abundance (T.L.
Blankenship, unpublished data). The relatively rarity of IG
predation suggests that the space-use strategy employed by
bobcats is relatively effective at avoiding coyotes.

Most of the bobcats studied (5 out of 7) were males:

We captured seven bobcats (5 males, 2 females) and 13
coyotes (8 males, 5 females), with each having a portion of
its home range overlapping with the opposite species’ home

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

Below is an account of a single alpha male coyote in Yellowstone (i.e. western coyote) killing a bison calf. The coyote weighed 13.2 kg while the bison calf is estimated to weigh 23 kg. While young ungulates are vulnerable, IMHO bison calves are the exception to this rule as they are quite durable. The bison calf kicked the coyote in the head and the coyote eventually killed it with a neck bite after an extended standoff.

Source: J. W. Sheldon, Gregory Reed, A. Cheyenne Burnett, Kevin Li, Robert L. Crabtree; Canadian Field Naturalist; Vol 123, No 3 (2009)

[Image: SingleCoyoteKillsBisonCalf.jpg]

[Image: SingleCoyoteKillsBisonCalfPart2.jpg]

Red Wrote:From Taipan:

Here is the incident:

Quote:Here's a Coyote attacking a Bison calf that got seperated from the herd after a river crossing :

[Image: coyotebisoncalf.jpg]

Red Wrote:From taipan/Nok:

Originally posted by Nok:

Coyote Kills Great Dane 
A great dane died at a veterinary hospital after the attack.

By LeAnne Gendreau and Jeff Saperstone |  Thursday, Sep 22, 2011  

Newington police are warning people to be careful after a Great Dane was killed by a coyote.

A large coyote attacked Zoe, the Great Dane, on Stagecoach Lane on Tuesday morning, police said. She later died at a local veterinary hospital.

"I was focusing on our new puppy and she (Zoe) sort of turned around and looked like she was dragging a back leg and I called her over and when she came over to me she actually had a chunk bitten out of her hind-side," the dog owner said.

The owners of Zoe asked not to be identified. They said this was not the first time they had seen the coyote in their neighborhood. She said she has seen the animal walking down the street during the morning hours.

"I do want people to be cautious because there are so many children in the area, especially in the morning," she added.

Police warn that you should calmly leave the area if a coyote approaches you.

To frighten coyotes, shout, wave your arms and act aggressive, but do not pick up your dog, police warn.

"Letting dogs out at night unsupervised is really a risky proposition even though you may have done it in the past," DEEP Wildlife Biologist Chris Vann said.

In early September Newington Police put a warning out about bobcats after sightings were reported.

If approached by an aggressive or overly-friendly coyote, call DEEP EnCON Police at 860-424-3333 or Newington Police Department at 860-666-8445.

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

Below are pictures from a hunter's trail camera of a pair of coyotes killing a whitetail deer buck in Oklahoma. If you click the link, you will see a streaming slide show of entire attack with much better pictures.

The attack occurred in early August. This is a time of year when coyote pups are still young and adult coyotes are generally more food-stressed. Many accounts of aggressive coyotes attacking pets or even people on rare occasions happens during this time of year.

[Image: CoyotepairKillsBuckA.jpg]

[Image: CoyotepairKillsBuck1.jpg]

[Image: CoyotepairKillsBuck2.jpg]

[Image: CoyotepairKillsBuck3.jpg]

[Image: CoyotepairKillsBuck4.jpg]

[Image: CoyotepairKillsBuck5.jpg]
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Red Wrote:Golden Eagle-Coyote Carcass Disputes - Coyotes Typically Win

This study's reference is:

Journal of Mammalogy 61 (2) P 375-376, 1980

[Image: Coyotes-GoldenEaglecarcassDisputes0.jpg]

[Image: Coyotes-GoldenEaglecarcassDisput-1.jpg]

Source: Christopher C. Wilmers, Daniel
R. Stahler, Robert L. Crabtree,
Douglas W. Smith and Wayne
M. Getz, Ecology Letters, (2003) 6: 996–1003

"The primary winter scavengers in Greater Yellowstone
are, in order of dominance at carcasses, coyote, golden eagle
(Aquila chrysaetos), bald eagle, raven and magpie (Pica pica)
(see Magoun 1976 for similar dominance relationships)."

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

Here is an account of 2 pit bulls killing a coyote and receiving some significant injuries in California. Not really a fair fight since the pit bulls should have each been 2 or more time the size of coyotes in this area. Male coyotes in this part of California are small and only average about 25 lbs. Also, it looks like the coyote was trying to mostly flee as a result of the dogs and the owner being right there.

Still the female APBT had her nasal cavity punctured, and the male looked like he required some stitches.

Yesterday started out like any normal sunday morning. I awoke happy and content to be snuggled in tight between my two favorite beasts Rory and Primo. I was especially cozy and laid petting holding them for a while before I got my butt up and out of bed.

The night before J.R. and I awoke to to noise in the backyard, the motion light came on and we were surprised to see a coyote when we looked out the window. he was huge, he was as tall as Rory but considerably thinner. Anyhoo J.R chased him back over the fence and the rest of the night continued on without the motion light going back on. Before I let the dogs in the back yard that morning I checked the permimiter and the yard to make sure he was gone (Ya I know STUPID) but I wasnt going to let my dogs out without checking-It was clear.

I let Rory and Primo out and 30 seconds later I heard it. The most awful scary roar errupted from my Primo, he sounded like a lion. Shaking, I ran to the side yard. The coyote saw me, Primo saw the coyote see me and wasted no time pinning him to the gground by his neck. Meanwhile, Rory, my lil spitfire was circling, barking, and taking chunks out of the coyote as Primo held him down. Thats when I made my first mistake........ 

[Image: apc1.jpg]

I screamed at Rory and Primo to let go, as they did the coyote tried to run up the fence  But despite my dogs willingness to listen to me, their insticnt couldnt keep them from going after him. The coyote made it to the top of the fence countelss times only to be yanked back down by my dogs and pulled back to the ground.

By this time J.R. had awoken and was outside, and the coyote ran to the other side of the yard and was trying to hide under the workbench and wheel barrow. Primo knew better then to go after him head first but my Rory's instinct to get the intruder out of our yard over came her and she rushed in, ultimatley getting the worst of her injuries as the coyotes long muzzle bit into her face......she didnt even let go.....she pulled him our from under the wheel barrow so Primo could finish. Rory, then finally came to me as Primo allowed the coyote to retreat over the fence. I dont know how he made it over the fence, back legs and entrials hanging out. I had a overwhelming mix of emotions......sad to see a beautiful creature ripped apart, yet proud of my dogs for protecting me and for working so well as a team.

I thought about grabbing the gun but didnt want to leave the scene and didnt want to risk shooting one of my dogs.

The dogs were taken to the vet and I just cant seem to stop shaking.

RORY..... Her injuries are primarily to the head, muzzle, and face. She didn't require stitches but may have had her nasal cavity punctured that may require surgery but the vet wants to wait to see how well she heals up in the next few days. She can only chew soft food for now, it pains her to eat hard food and she wouldnt let the vet check the roof of her mouth so I hope all is ok in there.

She did eat soft food this morning, I was so happy! Her breathing is ragged, her physical activiity is limited and she is one antibitoics, pain medication and antinflammatory's. My poor girl hardly wags her tail, is still very nervous and dosnt want to be touched for fear we might try to pet her face.

However this morning she perked up when I asked her if she wanted to sleep on my bed, LOL

[Image: acp3.jpg]

[Image: acp4.jpg]

[Image: acp5.jpg]

PRIMO.... He has three staples in his face, two under his eyes and one on his nose. His mental state is much better then Rory's.... and bounced back immeditatly patrolling the yard and had a very big appetite.

[Image: acp6.jpg]

Immediatley after the attack he looked like Braveheart, covered in blood and pissed off. I've never been so humbeled and in awe of a Pit Bull's power. How he could go from cuddling in bed to a warrior and right back again amazed me. I am so very proud of my babies....sad, shaken.....but very proud.

This morning I covered my bed in doggy blankets so my lil beasts could rest comfortably.....they deserve it.

[Image: acp7.jpg]

[Image: acp2.jpg]

Here is an updated post on the dog injuries:

It was a male, it was found and they are going to do a test on it to see if it carried rabies so we can worn the neighbors about the potential threat.

They said if it was a female it would have retreated without a fight UNLESS it did have babies there but no, it was defintly a male. He was a big guy too, I didnt know they got that big. My vet also said coyotes have a heavier bite then domestic dogs....even pit bulls! I didnt know that. Its snout was so long it encomapssed Rory's whole head when he bit her. 

So all that aside.....look at the swelling on her nose. I dont know enough about dog anatomy to give a educated guess on how bad it might have punctured her nasal cavity but she was sneezing up blood for awhile yesterday

Above you can see this side of her face is where his top teeth dug in, his mouch was wide enough to get the top of her head and wrap around her snout.

This is the other side where you can see his bottom canine dug in real bad....

[Image: acp8.jpg]

[Image: acp9.jpg]

Red Wrote:From Reddhole:

Source: Jose M. Fedriani · Todd K. Fuller
Raymond M. Sauvajot · Eric C. York Oecologia (2000) 125:258–270 "Competition and intraguild predation among three sympatric carnivores"

Of a total of five radio-tagged bobcats deaths, two (male and
female, both adult) were due to coyote predation. In addition,
remains of bobcats and gray foxes were found in
coyote feces (4 and 2 cases, respectively).

Red Wrote:
Quote: From Taipan: Yeah, there would be some G/Jackals that could defeat a Coyote (they are rather close in many regards), but the majority of Coyotes would defeat the majority of Golden Jackals if stats like body size and bite force count for much.
Reddhole may know the average canine lengths for these two species. If so I hope he posts them.

From Reddhole: 

I have canine length and strength data for western coyotes and black-backed jackals. One male and one female were used for each species, provided specimens were available. Unfortunately, we do not know for sure if this was the case for these two species. See "CL" below. The figures are logarithmic, but the converted raw figures for upper canine length are as follows:

Coyote 1.98 cm
Black-backed jackal: 1.57 cm

The canine strength values are as follows (logarithmic) - higher means stronger canines:

Anterioposterior canine bending strength ("Sx") - Reflects upper canines ability to resist struggling prey mostly

Coyote: .010

Black-backed jackal: -.232

Mediolateral canine bending strength ("Sy") - Reflect upper canines ability to withstand force of bite more

Coyote: .216

Black-backed jackal: -0.014

However, the coyote skulls was likely larger as the average skull length was 16.37 cm vs. 14.09 cm for the black-backed jackal. 

[Image: VanValenburghCanineData001.jpg]

The following study measures total canine size (i.e. area) as a function of skull length. Bigger canines are highly correlated with big game hunting in wild canids vs. canids that take smaller prey. This is shown by "C1", which is a measure of the square root of canine size divided by condylbasal skull length. Larger numbers are found with wolves, AWDs, dholes and bush dogs. The figures are as follows:

Coyote: 0.40
Golden jackal: 0.38

The coyote also has stronger mechanical advantage of its jaw muscles, which means it has a stronger bite given the same amount of jaw muscles. This is shown by MAT and MAM below for the temporalis (more for powerful killing bite) and masseter (more for grabbing bite):


Coyote: 0.245
Golden jackal: 0.242


Coyote: 0.407
Golden Jackal: 0.383

However, the golden jackal has a slight advantage in jaw strength, which tends to correlate with bite force, around the carnassial:

Coyote: 0.48
Golden Jackal: 0.49

However, overall both species group closer together than with the big-game killing canids (i.e. wolves, dholes, AWDs, bush dogs).


However, in general the coyote and jackal overlap

[Image: CanineMeasurementVanValkenburgh.jpg]

[Image: CanidSkullMorphMeasurements1.jpg]

[Image: CanidSkullMorphMeasurements2.jpg]

Red Wrote:Coyotes spend quite a bit of time alone - especially young dispersing and very old "transients" or lone coyotes without a territory. Below are details on the percentage of time coyotes spend alone in different studies:

[Image: CoyoteGroupSizeOklahoma001.jpg]

[Image: CoyoteGroupSizeSanDiego001.jpg]

Here is a desacription that transient or lone coyotes, which make up 1/3 of the population South Texas, are primarily young dispersing animals (i.e. yearlings) and old coyotes:

Territorial coyotes tend to be mature breeding animals, while transients are typically yearlings or very old individuals. In South Texas, about two-thirds of the population are territorial and the rest are transients.


[Image: CoyoteGroupSizeYellowstone003.jpg]

Red Wrote:Below is data on cranial and canine morphology, which IMHO supports the coyote over the bobcat. This data indicates IMHO that the coyote has a greater capacity to kill the bobcat quickly. A stronger bite, and larger canines means its easier to make a killing bite - all else being equal.

The information comes from the following study:

Source: Gittlelman and Van Valkenburgh, "Sexual Dimophism in the Skulls and Canines of Carnivores: Effects of Size, Phylogency and Behavioral Ecology", Journal of Zoology, 242, P 97-117, 1997

[Image: CarnvioreCranialData001.jpg]

[Image: CarnvioreCranialData002.jpg]

Canine Length 

Upper Canine Height (UCH) represents canine length (I know there is an Upper Canine Length item, but this isn't the typical maximum canine length figure).

Male Coyote: 2.1 CM

Male Bobcat:  1.68 CM

Moment Arm of Temporalis (MAT) 

This represents the mechanical advantage of the temporalis muscle. A higher figure means this muscle will produce more bite force (all else being equal) with the same amount of temporalis jaw musculature.

Male Coyote:  35.4

Male Bobcat:  21.84

Moment Arm of Masseter (MAM) 

This represents the mechanical advantage of the masseter muscle. A higher figure means this muscle will produce more bite force (all else being equal) with the same amount of masseter jaw musculature.

Male Coyote: 23.57
male Bobcat: 12.31

Canine Strength - Sx and SY

Canine strength means that the canines are strong enough to withstand bone and other biting stresses. This would indicate that one animal is more likely to kill the other with a skull bite or a bite to ribs or other bony body parts.

Male Coyote: Sx: 2.74; Sy: 1.53

Male Bobcat: Sx: 1.51; Sy: 1.28

If you compare all of this data with say the male wolf and male leopard listed, you will see a much different relationship. The smaller canid does much better in this comparison.

Similarly, here is a distribution of bite force measurements from a large sample of coyotes and bobcats from a bite force study of North American carnivores. 

Coyote: ~ 400 newtons - 1000 newtons

Bobcats: ~ 350-800 Newtons

[Image: CanidBiteForces001.jpg]

[Image: FelidBiteForces001.jpg]

Red Wrote:Santa Monica Study


We examined the relative roles of dominance in agonistic interactions and energetic constraints related to body size in determining local abundances of coyotes (Canis latrans, 8-20 kg), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus, 3-5 kg) and bobcats (Felis rufus, 5-15 kg) at three study sites (hereafter referred to as NP, CP, and SP) in the Santa Monica Mountains of California. We hypothesized that the largest and behaviorally dominant species, the coyote, would exploit a wider range of resources (i.e., a higher number of habitat and/or food types) and, consequently, would occur in higher density than the other two carnivores. We evaluated our hypotheses by quantifying their diets, food overlap, habitat-specific abundances, as well as their overall relative abundance at the three study sites. We identified behavioral dominance of coyotes over foxes and bobcats in Santa Monica because 7 of 12 recorded gray fox deaths and 2 of 5 recorded bobcat deaths were due to coyote predation, and no coyotes died as a result of their interactions with bobcats or foxes. Coyotes and bobcats were present in a variety of habitats types (8 out of 9), including both open and brushy habitats, whereas gray foxes were chiefly restricted to brushy habitats. There was a negative relationship between the abundances of coyotes and gray foxes (P=0.020) across habitats, suggesting that foxes avoided habitats of high coyote predation risk. Coyote abundance was low in NP, high in CP, and intermediate in SP. Bobcat abundance changed little across study sites, and gray foxes were very abundant in NP, absent in CP, and scarce in SP; this suggests a negative relationship between coyote and fox abundances across study sites, as well. Bobcats were solely carnivorous, relying on small mammals (lagomorphs and rodents) throughout the year and at all three sites. Coyotes and gray foxes also relied on small mammals year-round at all sites, though they also ate significant amounts of fruit. Though there were strong overall interspecific differences in food habits of carnivores (P<0.0001), average seasonal food overlaps were high due to the importance of small mammals in all carnivore diets [bobcat-gray fox: 0.79-0.09 (SD), n=4; bobcat-coyote: 0.69-0.16, n=6; coyote-gray fox: 0.52-0.05, n=4]. As hypothesized, coyotes used more food types and more habitat types than did bobcats and gray foxes and, overall, coyotes were the most abundant of the three species and ranged more widely than did gray foxes. We propose that coyotes limit the number and distribution of gray foxes in Santa Monica Mountains, and that those two carnivores exemplified a case in which the relationship between their body size and local abundance is governed by competitive dominance of the largest species rather than by energetic equivalences. However, in the case of the intermediate-sized bobcat no such a pattern emerged, likely due to rarity or inconsistency of agonistic interactions and/or behavioral avoidance of encounters by subordinate species.

A relevant section:

Twelve radio-tagged gray foxes were found dead in
2 years of study; seven were killed by coyotes and two
by bobcats (V. Farias, T.K. Fuller, J.M. Fedriani, R.B.
Wayne, R.M. Sauvajot, unpublished work). All sexes
and ages of gray foxes suffered carnivore predation. Of a total of five radio-tagged bobcats deaths, two (male and female, both adult) were due to coyote predation.

In addition, remains of bobcats and gray foxes were found in
coyote feces (4 and 2 cases, respectively). Evidence of
cannibalism was also detected; one coyote was found
dead that was killed by conspecifics, and remains of bobcats
in one bobcat scat and remains of gray foxes in one
gray fox scat were also found. Evidence of interference among carnivores involving non-targeted species included the death of a radio-tagged adult male coyote probably
killed by a mountain lion (Felis concolor), an American badger (Taxidea taxus) killed by coyote,
and the remains
of spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius) and longtailed
weasel (Mustela frenata) in feces of coyotes (1 case) 
and bobcats (2 cases), respectively.

Red Wrote:There have been cases of both western and eastern coyotes killing fishers. According to one fisher researcher I contacted, a coyote "would handle a fisher." I posted that email on AVA when I participated in that forum.

Here is some more information:

Mortality and Survival

Where trapping of fishers for fur is permitted, it is typically the largest source of fisher mortality (Douglas and Strickland 1987). Fishers may also be killed by vehicles, predation, fighting,
disease, infections, starvation, poisoning, accidents, and debilitation from porcupine quill (Strickland and Douglas 1984, Douglas and Strickland 1987, Proulx et al. 1994). Male fisher
pelts commonly (40-50%) show scarring from intraspecific fighting (Douglas and Strickland 1987). Fighting may account for a significant portion of natural mortalities among males. In
Maine, Krohn et al. (1994) found that death of 94% of 50 radio-collared fisher were human related; trapping accounted for 80%, illegal shooting 6%, road-kills 4%, and one fisher died after
its radio-collar got caught on a branch. Of 3 natural mortalities, one fisher died choking on deer cartilage, one of an infection, and the last was killed by coyotes (Canis latrans) (Krohn et al.
There are few data on the frequency of predation on fishers. Douglas and Strickland (1987) stated that hawks, great horned owls (Bubo virginianus), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes),
bobcats (Lynx rufus), lynx (Lynx canadensis), and black bears (Ursus americanus) may prey on fishers, especially kits. They also reported a fisher killed by dogs (Canis familiaris). In Montana, Roy (1991) reported that of 32 radio-collared fishers transplanted from Minnesota, 3 males were killed by mountain lions (Felis concolor), 2 females by coyotes, 1 male by a wolverine, 1 female by an eagle, and another female by a lynx.

The second fisher (Fi7), an adult male, was recovered near a moose kill. Based on field observations and necropsy, we concluded that a coyote had killed this fisher.'s%2520Annual%2520Field%2520Report%25202002.pdf+fisher+coyote+maine+vashon

This is the same study that documented fishers killing adult female Canadian lynx.

Taipan Wrote:Coyote kills Harp Seal
[Image: coyoteharpseal.jpg]
Source: Coyote kills Harp Seal

Taipan Wrote:How Coyotes Dwindled to Their Modern Size

Charles Choi, LiveScience Contributor
Date: 27 February 2012 Time: 03:01 PM ET

[Image: ancient-coyote.jpg]
A modern coyote and a Pleistocene coyote skull. Modern coyotes weigh 15-46 pounds (7- 21 kilograms), while ancient coyotes are estimated to have an average mass of about 39 to 46 lbs. (18 to 21 kg).

In ancient times, when woolly mammoths and cave bears roamed Earth, coyotes boasted bigger bodies, rivaling the size of wolves, only to shrink to near modern size about the same time these megafauna went extinct.

Now researchers say the coyotes lost their robust bodies, along with facial features that made them better at shredding meat and taking down larger prey, because their meaty fare changed from young horses, for instance, to smaller rodents and rabbits, and hefty competitors such as dire wolves went extinct.

In the Pleistocene, the epoch spanning from about 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago right before written history, now-extinct giant animals or megafauna populated the Earth. Coyotes were significantly different in the Pleistocene, with thicker skulls and jaws as well as wider snouts and teeth.

"Coyotes in the Pleistocene probably hunted juvenile horses, juvenile llamas, juvenile camels and possibly juvenile bison," said researcher Julie Meachen, a paleontologist at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, N.C. "We think there was probably more pack-hunting among coyotes in the Pleistocene than there is today. Coyotes are the third most common fossil at tar pits, so they were probably in groups hunting — maybe not extensive packs, but four to six individuals, as a guess."

It was uncertain as to why coyotes transformed after the Pleistocene. The planet was often significantly icier back then, suggesting that a change in climate might be involved, but other factors might be responsible instead.

"A lot of big mammals went extinct at the end of the Pleistocene, but I was interested in the ones that didn't go extinct, that lived through it," Meachen said. "I wanted to know if they were impacted in any way, and how."
This skeleton of an Ice Age Coyote (<em>Canis latrans orcutti</em>) is a composite from the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

[Image: ice-age-coyote-skeleton.jpg]
This skeleton of an Ice Age Coyote (Canis latrans orcutti) is a composite from the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

To see why coyotes might have shrunk, researchers analyzed 140 or so bones from the modern coyote (Canis latrans) and Pleistocene coyote (Canis latrans orcutti) from about 30 different sites across the continental United States ranging across 40,000 years. Their aim was to see when coyotes began changing in order to find out what else was happening then.

Modern coyotes range in weight between 15 and 46 pounds (7 and 21 kilograms), averaging at 33 lbs. (15 kg). In contrast, the ancient coyotes are estimated to have an average mass of about 39 to 46 lbs. (18 to 21 kg).

"That's at the high end of modern coyotes today, and begins to come near the mass of living gray wolves," Meachen said. Modern gray wolves range between 50 and 176 lbs. (23 and 80 kg), averaging at 112 lbs. (51 kg). 

The researchers saw that coyotes began changing in size at the end of the Pleistocene about 11,000 years ago, when many species of megafauna began going extinct and the climate altered dramatically. "We could actually see evolution in a relatively large mammal in a relatively small amount of time, just 1,000 years or so," Meachen said.

The scientists found no relationship between coyote body size and average annual coldest temperature, suggesting that climate change was not behind their shift in size. As such, megafaunal extinctions seem to be why coyotes shrunk over time.

"We think they got smaller as a whole because they didn't have the large mammal prey base anymore, and they didn't have the same competitors they use to have," Meachen told LiveScience. "They were no longer competing against some really big wolves, the dire wolves, and a lot of big prey were missing from their ecosystems, so their best sources of food were now rabbits and rodents."

"It's very rare to see species interactions in the fossil record," Meachen added. "Here we can see changes happening that are apparently in response to species interactions."

Future research could investigate genes from ancient and modern coyote bones to see how genetic changes matched up with skeletal ones. "Natural Trap Cave in Wyoming, which has fossil deposits spanning roughly 50,000 years, never gets above 45 degrees F (7 degrees C), so it's a good place to preserve and look for ancient DNA," Meachen said.

Meachen and her colleague Joshua Samuels detailed their findings online Feb. 27 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Taipan Wrote:Coyote largely misunderstood: expert

[Image: photo_2038753_resize.jpg]
Newfoundland & Labrador coyote expert Nathan Spence sits next to a stuffed eastern coyote specimen at the Department of Environment and Conservation offices in Corner Brook. 

    Gary Kean 
    Published on March 21, 2012
Gary Kean  RSS Feed

  [Corner Brook, NL]—The eastern coyote is actually considered a native species to Newfoundland and Labrador.

That’s because the coyote found its way to the island all on its own — much like humans once did — and were not deliberately introduced by people, like moose were more than 100 years ago.

Not many people realize that fact and many other things about the canine species that has been generating a lot of discussion throughout Newfoundland and Labrador in recent years and particularly in the past week or so.

Nathan Spence is a training specialist with the conservation services branch of the Department of Environment and Conservation. His job involves educating hunters and the general public about the habits of the eastern coyote, how to hunt them and how to respect the fact they are now part of the province’s wildlife scene.

Concerns about the coyote population decimating caribou stocks and infringing into human habitat have been in the media for years. Last week, much was made of a coyote that was seen outside a school in eastern Newfoundland.

Even more hype was generated by the killing of an 82-pound animal by a hunter on the Bonavista Peninsula last week (March 12). That animal is being tested to see if it is a coyote, a wolf or some hybrid between those two distinct animals or between a coyote and a dog.

Spence acknowledged the 82-pound animal is an oddity, since a 50-pound coyote would be considered huge. He opted not to speculate on where that animal came from until DNA testing has been carried out.

Ironically, Joe Fleming, the hunter who shot the 82-pound mystery canine, was one of the hunters who attended a workshop conducted by Spence recently. Spence actually taught Fleming the male challenge call that lured the big beast into Fleming’s sights to defend its territory.

Spence has seen thousands of coyote carcasses and they average 30 to 35 pounds. Less than 1.5 per cent are more than 40 pounds.

The population of coyote in Newfoundland is estimated to be in the range of 5,000 to 10,000 animals. Spence said this is not a particularly large number, but it may be on the rise since predator species will tend to have higher reproduction rates if there are adequate resources

Another misconception is that coyote are wiping out the caribou and moose populations on the island because they are hunting those ungulates down.

In fact, according to Spence, caribou make up less than 10 per cent of the coyote diet. Moose make up more than 40 per cent, but the moose is actually not an animal that a coyote typically hunts down as prey.

“Coyotes are eating moose that have died from natural mortality or they are eating the gut piles left behind by hunters,” said Spence. “If there is a 10 or even 15 per cent natural mortality rate on the 100,000 moose in the province and if there are 30,000 moose licences with a 70 per cent success rate, that is a lot of meat left out in the country to supply the coyote.”

The brunt of the coyote’s predatory tactics is being borne by the rabbit, said Spence.

Many people also falsely believe coyotes travel in packs, which is something wolves would do. Coyotes do pair up and each pair has a home range of about 250 square kilometres, but the only times there would normally be a group of them is if the parent coyotes still have their young with them.

“They do sometimes spend their first winter together, but the adults will drive off their young when they are ready to breed again,” said Spence, adding that a typical coyote litter would be about six or seven pups, about half of which will survive.

With the coyote population on the rise, encounters with them are also bound to become more common, as has been seen in recent years. Spence said it is important that people treat coyote, or any form of predatory wildlife, with the respect it warrants.

“I you come across a coyote and it doesn’t know you are there, just give it space and back off slowly,” said Spence. “If it starts to come towards you, throw rocks or sticks at it, make yourself look big and yell at it. Like any canine, it will back off if you show your dominance and it thinks you are going to put up a fight. You should never turn and run away because you would be imitating prey by doing that.”

If anyone thinks the province is being overrun with coyote, said Spence, just ask some of the hunters who have taken on the challenge of shooting or trapping them.

“Some of these guys will go weeks and not see one,” he said. “It’s a real challenge to hunt coyote and it takes a lot of effort to understand how to hunt them.”

Spence believes that, in time, people will come to understand the coyote better and be more comfortable heading off into the woods knowing these animals are out there.

“We want people to understand encounters are going to happen and for them to educate themselves so they can handle these encounters appropriately,” he said.

If anyone is interested in having an information session for their school or group, or would like to learn more about how to hunt coyote workshops, contact Spence by calling 637-2006 or emailing him at

There is also plenty of information about coyote and other wildlife available at the Department of Environment and Conservation office on Riverside Drive or on the government website at
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Red Dog Wrote:Coyote kills wounded buck  on trail camera. Not sure if buck was wounded by coyote or by other means. 

LUploaded by kanshawk on Dec 3, 2011 

trail camera photos from a Bushnell Trophycam XLT of a coyote attacking what appears to be a wounded young 10pt whitetail buck. I found the buck carcass in a ditch about 20 yards from the feeder.

Red Dog Wrote:coyote attacks female anatolian shepherd. Video at link below shows scars. Ignore woman's comments about "65 lb. coyote" as New Mexicon coyotes only average 9.5-11.6 kg.

Coyote goes after big dog, then woman
More coyote enounters, braze behavior reported
Updated: Wednesday, 04 Jul 2012, 11:46 AM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 04 Jul 2012, 11:46 AM MDT

Nancy Laflin 
SANTA FE (KRQE) - Coyotes love to snack on small dogs. But usually when they see a human with that dog they back off.

This weekend though, a coyote went after a big dog and the dog's owner.

Lisa Stuart and her dog were hiking in the Santa Fe Basin on Saturday when a coyote attacked her Anatolian shepherd. Lisa says her dog was off leash and was running about 25 feet ahead of her when a coyote ran out from the forest and attacked her dog.

Lisa was screaming and her dog managed to get away, but the coyote followed them for about two more miles until they got out of the forest.

State parks workers say it's rare that coyotes stalk a person, but they say hikers and anyone out in the wild should be prepared. This is animal territory and this year there have been more coyote encounters than usual. 

"It has been dry this year, and that leads them to get out of their normal ranges and seek other food sources," said Toby Velasquez with New Mexico State Parks.

They say most wildlife will leave before you even know they're there, but if you encounter a large predator you should stay calm.  Make yourself as large as possible and make as much noise as possible, too.

Dog was 85 lbs:

Dogs Attacked By Coyotes at Ski Basin
By Jackie Jadrnak / Journal North Reporter on Fri, Jul 6, 2012    POSTED AT: 12:05 am | UPDATED AT: 9:01 am 
At least two hikers’ dogs were attacked by coyotes this past weekend at the Santa Fe ski basin, and their owners want to warn the many other area residents and their pets who seek those cool mountain meadows for exercise to beware.

The coyotes apparently weren’t limiting themselves to easy prey. One dog that was chased down and emerged with puncture wounds to each thigh was an 85-pound Anatolian shepherd

Canidae Wrote:Interesting accounts Reddhole, shows size isn't a deterrant.

Also, adding on to the Coyotes killing a Black Ber yearling, I haven't been able to find the article but I've dug up some info on it. The full paper is :
BOYER, R. H. 1949. Mountain coyotes kill yearling black bear in. Sequoia National Park.
If anyone could find it?

This is from The Ecology, population dynamics and management of the Black Bear in the Spruce Fir forest of North western Montana.
[Image: CoyBear.png]

It was only 2 Coyotes, which fits with other info that 'packs' are actually adults with pups and adults mainly stay in mated pairs.

Taipan Wrote:
Canidae Wrote:Also, adding on to the Coyotes killing a Black Ber yearling,
Yearling? It was a "Monthling" 

Yeah lets add to it. The Black Bear was less than 3 months old. It was sick, and 'runtish', it was abandoned by its mother whilst she and his healthy sisters sought food, apparently a coyote bit its head, that became infected that eventually (4 days later) the already sick cub died.

Just to let you know Canidae, a yearling is an animal in the second year of its life. 

Red Dog Wrote:
Reddhole Wrote:coyote attacks female anatolian shepherd. Video at link below shows scars. Ignore woman's comments about "65 lb. coyote" as New Mexicon coyotes only average 9.5-11.6 kg.

Coyote goes after big dog, then woman
More coyote enounters, braze behavior reported
Updated: Wednesday, 04 Jul 2012, 11:46 AM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 04 Jul 2012, 11:46 AM MDT

Nancy Laflin 
SANTA FE (KRQE) - Coyotes love to snack on small dogs. But usually when they see a human with that dog they back off.

This weekend though, a coyote went after a big dog and the dog's owner.

Lisa Stuart and her dog were hiking in the Santa Fe Basin on Saturday when a coyote attacked her Anatolian shepherd. Lisa says her dog was off leash and was running about 25 feet ahead of her when a coyote ran out from the forest and attacked her dog.

Lisa was screaming and her dog managed to get away, but the coyote followed them for about two more miles until they got out of the forest.

State parks workers say it's rare that coyotes stalk a person, but they say hikers and anyone out in the wild should be prepared. This is animal territory and this year there have been more coyote encounters than usual. 

"It has been dry this year, and that leads them to get out of their normal ranges and seek other food sources," said Toby Velasquez with New Mexico State Parks.

They say most wildlife will leave before you even know they're there, but if you encounter a large predator you should stay calm.  Make yourself as large as possible and make as much noise as possible, too.

Dog was 85 lbs:

Dogs Attacked By Coyotes at Ski Basin
By Jackie Jadrnak / Journal North Reporter on Fri, Jul 6, 2012    POSTED AT: 12:05 am | UPDATED AT: 9:01 am 
At least two hikers’ dogs were attacked by coyotes this past weekend at the Santa Fe ski basin, and their owners want to warn the many other area residents and their pets who seek those cool mountain meadows for exercise to beware.

The coyotes apparently weren’t limiting themselves to easy prey. One dog that was chased down and emerged with puncture wounds to each thigh was an 85-pound Anatolian shepherd
Another coyote attack in same area. This time a 7 year old lab received several stitches after owner broke up fight.

Coyotes likely had pups in area explaining agression towards larger dogs. IMHO, owners should have had dog on leash (usually law in most parks when hiking).

Again ignore the ridiculous "80 pound" coyote claim. New Mexico coyotes average 25 lbs or less.

Coyote attacks in ski basin concern dog ownersAndra Cernavskis | The New Mexican
Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 7/11/12  

A large coyote attacked a 7-year-old yellow Labrador retriever on the Sunset Trail near the Millennium chairlift in the Santa Fe Ski Basin on Tuesday morning.

Houston Davis heard his dog, Burke, yelping and screaming after it turned a corner on the service road as he was descending.

Davis was walking with his other dog — also a yellow Lab — who was on a leash. Burke was not.

“I ran down the trail screaming, and the coyote backed down then,” Davis said.

Davis estimated that the coyote weighs about 80 pounds, while Burke weighs about 60 pounds.

The coyote bit Burke in the face and hind leg. Davis took him to the veterinarian Wednesday morning and expects him to be fine. “It’s a nasty little gash that needs to be stitched up,” he said.

When Davis reported the incident to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, he learned that federal law does not regulate coyotes like it does bears or mountain lions.

“If I had a gun, I could have shot him. There is no jurisdiction or anything,” he said, adding, “Someone ought to put a sign up there that there is a coyote and that dogs should be on leashes.”

This is not an isolated incident. On June 27, a coyote attacked an Australian shepherd named Maya on the same trail. Carol MacHendrie, the dog’s owner, wrote a letter that appeared in The New Mexican on July 11 that called for more action to be taken by either the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service or the New Mexico Game and Fish Department.

“I kept stating that someone else would get hurt, perhaps a child, and while some people were sympathetic, no one would act,” the letter said.

It was her husband, Will MacHendrie, who was on the lower part of the Sunset Trail in the middle of the day with their two Australian shepherds. The coyote jumped on Maya, the older dog. Carol MacHendrie said that the coyote came out of the forest three times before her husband had to face it like one would a mountain lion, and only then did the coyote retreat for good.

“I’ve lived here 32 years. There are coyotes all around where we live. [Never] in all of my husband’s years of hiking has anything like this ever happened,” Carol MacHendrie said Wednesday.

“My husband said it was the biggest coyote he has ever seen,” she continued.

After the attack, Carol MacHendrie spoke to an official at Wildlife Services, a federal program that deals with wildlife interactions that threaten public health. She was told the agency does deal with coyotes but does not have a contract with Santa Fe County.

Each of the MacHendries’ dogs weighs around 45 pounds. Maya is 12 years old. The other dog, Pacha, went to Maya’s defense when the coyote attacked her. Pacha is 5 and slightly larger than Maya.

Maya sustained a deep puncture wound in the groin area.

Neither dog was on a leash.

After receiving a call from Davis on Wednesday afternoon, the Santa Fe National Forest decided to issue a news release warning people of the different animals they can encounter on the trails.

Spokesman Bruce Hill said that when a dog is not on a leash, it is an open invitation for a coyote.

“This may be a coyote that was displaced from the Los Conchas Fire or a coyote that could have a den of pups that they are protecting in that area. We need to remind people that we cohabitate with animals in the forest,” Hill said.

Lynn Bjorklun of the Santa Fe National Forest said the Española Ranger District put up warning signs last weekend and plans to post more.

“Where these folks are having problems is on the Ski Santa Fe runs, and there are all kinds of different ways for folks to access there. It is difficult to know just where people might see [the coyote]. … It’s not like there is one central trailhead. We have a kiosk, and I believe we have [a sign] there, but we are looking to get more signs so people have a better awareness of it,” she said.

Bjorklun suspects there is probably a coyote den near the Sunset Trail because most of the reports have involved that area.

The main thing hikers can do is put dogs on leashes.

“I’ve hiked all the time up there over the years and never put [Burke] on a leash. I will now if I go back anytime soon,” Davis said.
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Red Dog Wrote:Coyote cougar interaction. Video in link.

Hiker captures rare footage of coyote trying to scare off cougarBy: Pete Thomas,
A visitor at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Southern California on Sunday captured very rare footage of a coyote attempting to scare off a mountain lion.

The 100-pound mountain lion, which had been spotted on and off on or near a popular trail since July 7, was captured early Tuesday by game wardens with the state Department of Fish and Game.

The park, in Orange County, reopened Tuesday but Serrano Cow Trail remained closed in case the 2-year-old mountain lion, or cougar, had been traveling with its mother. 

The park was initially closed on July 10, then reopened Sunday. That's when Robert Meyer captured the accompanying footage. The park was subsequently closed until the lion was captured early Tuesday.

Meyer, a veteran hiker, told the Orange County Register: "It's kind of unusual to see a coyote in the first place. It's rare to see a mountain. It's extraordinary to see the two of them interacting like this. It's just amazing."

DFG wardens at first tried scaring the cat off by shooting bean bags at the animal. The agency will determine whether to relocate or euthanize the cat. 

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park was the scene of a fatal mountain lion attack in 2004.

Sicilianu Wrote:Sequence analysis of three pigmentation genes in the Newfoundland population of Canis latrans links the Golden Retriever Mc1r variant to white coat color in coyotes

Ryan M. Brockerville, Michael J. McGrath, Brettney L. Pilgrim, H. Dawn Marshall

Three genes, Mc1r, Agouti, and CBD103, interact in a type-switching process that controls much of the pigmentation variation observed in mammals. A deletion in the CBD103 gene is responsible for dominant black color in dogs, while the white-phased black bear (“spirit bear”) of British Columbia, Canada, is the lightest documented color variant caused by a mutation in Mc1r. Rare all-white animals have recently been discovered in a new northeastern population of the coyote in insular Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. To investigate the causative gene and mutation of white coat in coyotes, we sequenced the three type-switching genes in white and dark-phased animals from Newfoundland. The only sequence variants unambiguously associated with white color were in Mc1r, and one of these variants causes the amino acid variant R306Ter, a premature stop codon also linked to coat color in Golden Retrievers and other dogs with yellow/red coats. The allele carrying R306Ter in coyotes matches that in the Golden Retriever at other variable amino acid sites and hence may have originated in these dogs. Coyotes experienced introgression with wolves and dogs as they colonized northeastern North America, and coyote/Golden Retriever interactions have been observed in Newfoundland. We speculate that natural selection, with or without a founder effect, may contribute to the observed frequency of white coyotes in Newfoundland, as it has contributed to the high frequency of white bears, and of a domestic dog-derived CBD allele in gray wolves.

I could not find the article for free anywhere, so if someone has access to it, please pass it along.

Taipan Wrote:Coyote More Likely to Make a Meal out of Moose Than Thought

Oct. 24, 2013 — It has long been believed that coyotes were incapable of taking down an adult moose, but researchers have recently discovered that eastern coyotes and coyote × wolf hybrids (canids) have preyed on adult moose in central Ontario. Their findings were published today in the Canadian Journal of Zoology.
Researchers Dr. John Benson, a PhD student in the Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program at Trent University when he conducted the research, and Dr. Brent Patterson, a research scientist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in Peterborough, documented instances where packs of eastern coyotes and coyote × wolf hybrids (canids) were found to have killed moose.
Their study involved live capture of eastern coyotes and eastern coyote × eastern wolf hybrids to deploy Global Positioning System (GPS) radio-collars and take blood samples for DNA analysis. The GPS collars delivered highly accurate locations of the study animals (via satellites or cell towers) so the researchers were able to visit these locations during winter to investigate their activities and document predation patterns. The DNA analysis allowed them to determine whether the animals were coyotes, wolves, or coyote × wolf hybrids.
In the study, four canid packs ranging in size from two to five animals were found to have killed moose. The researchers obtained two accurate ages from moose that were killed by coyotes and/or hybrids: One was very old (20 years) and one was young (20 months). It is believed that younger and older adult moose are probably more vulnerable due to inexperience and deteriorating body condition, respectively.
"Coyotes and coyote × wolf hybrids probably prey on moose opportunistically and only when circumstances are favorable. For instance, when snow is deep and a hard crust forms on top this impedes the ability of moose to travel and gives the lighter coyotes and hybrids an advantage because they can travel on top of the snow," explained Dr. Benson.
"Additionally, we noticed that some of the moose killed by coyotes and hybrids were on steep slopes that may have slowed the moose and created unstable footing. We also found that some of the moose were killed in areas where medium-sized trees were moderately dense, which may have prevented moose from swinging around quickly to fend off predators attacking from the rear or side."
"Killing of adult moose by eastern coyotes and coyote × wolf hybrids appears to be relatively rare and probably does not pose a threat to moose populations in central Ontario. However, from the perspective of a pack of coyotes or hybrids, killing even a single moose during a winter is very beneficial and goes a long way towards helping them meet their energetic demands. For instance, a pack of two eastern coyotes spent some or all of 18 days feeding on a moose that they killed."
The authors do not believe the viability of moose populations in central Ontario is negatively affected by this predation, as recent studies have shown that populations in WMU49 and nearby Algonquin Provincial Park are increasing and that both adult and calf moose survival is relatively high.

[Image: 131024121925-large_zps4905e3e7.jpg]
“Coyotes and coyote × wolf hybrids probably prey on moose opportunistically and only when circumstances are favorable. For instance, when snow is deep and a hard crust forms on top this impedes the ability of moose to travel and gives the lighter coyotes and hybrids an advantage because they can travel on top of the snow,” explained Dr. Benson.

Journal Reference:
J.F. Benson, B.R. Patterson. Moose (Alces alces) predation by eastern coyotes (Canis latrans) and eastern coyote × eastern wolf (Canis latrans ×Canis lycaon) hybrids. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 2013; : 1 DOI: 10.1139/cjz-2013-0160

[Image: CoyoteMooseAbstract_zps468a9c96.png]

[Image: Coyotemoosepredation_zps69da4b8f.png]

Full Study :

Koolyote Wrote:Feb 9th, 2014
Coyote Climbs Tree and Steals Bobcat’s Duck!

Ever the opportunist, coyotes sometimes watch attentively as a badger digs for rodents or as an otter fishes and then may steal the prey.  Along the Madison River this winter, the coyotes are watching the bobcats.

[Image: 1_bobcat-climbing-tree.jpg]

[Image: 2_coyote-looking-up-tree.jpg]

On the first day, of the second of three 2015 winter Yellowstone photo adventures, we set out to find the Madison Bobcat. We searched methodically for a couple of hours with no luck. After photographing trumpeter swans and other assorted waterfowl, we found a coyote scent tracking along the Madison River……abruptly he crossed the road and headed up into the broken, brushy habitat. He placed his paws as far up a spruce tree as he could reach and then he started climbing, yes, began climbing up the tree!

[Image: 3_coyote-climbing-tree-1.jpg]

[Image: 4_coyote-climbing-tree-2.jpg]

[Image: 5_coyote-climbing-tree-3.jpg]

[Image: 6_coyote-climbing-tree-4.jpg]

Slack-jawed, we looked up and near the top of the tree was a Bobcat with a very dead merganser in her mouth. The coyote kept climbing, 10, 15, 20, perhaps 30 feet using her mouth, legs, and tail to keep from failing, circling around the trunk as she climbed like a maypole dancer. Upside down and looking down, the Bobcat clenched her lunch more tightly in her mouth. Less than 3 minutes after the start of the coyote's bold, unaided ascent, a tussle ensued. The coyote grabbed and clinched the body of the duck with his mouth, the bobcat held on, suddenly the tree rained a cat and dog. When the snow settled the canid had the merganser and the feline marched away to sulk and lick its wounded pride and wet fur.

[Image: 7_coyote-climbing-tree-5.jpg]
Note the bobcat claws & coyote paws

[Image: 8_coyote-climbing-tree-6.jpg]
Note the coyote grabbing the duck

[Image: 9coyote-with-duck.jpg]

[Image: 10-bobcat-on-rock-licking.jpg]

This bobcat is not the same one we photographed on the last workshop, as it was much smaller with different markings and a narrower face.

Back along the Madison River we once again found a bobcat with a coyote trailing it.  This bobcat was in the same general area and looked to be the same one photographed on the first Yurt Tour.

[Image: 13_Bobcat-watching-goldeneye-duck.jpg]

[Image: 14_coyote-on-ice-Madison-River.jpg]

This coyote had a dark scar between its eyes and a nasty bloody wound on his ear and was clearly not the tree hugger coyote pictured above.  Evidently, stealing from a bobcat has its consequences. This makes at least two different bobcats and coyotes interacting.

[Image: 17_bobcat-portrait-on-rock(1).jpg]
February 2

[Image: 15_bobcat-portrait-on-log.jpg]
January 21

[Image: 16_bobcat-on-ice-Madison-River(1).jpg]
February 6

Quote:Coyote predation on deer in Eastern U.S. manageable, research suggests

Date: May 9, 2014
Source: Penn State
Coyotes are a major predator of white-tailed deer across the East, especially fawns born each spring, but wildlife managers nonetheless are able to stabilize and even grow deer herds, according to researchers. Coyotes -- Canis latrans -- are a relatively recent arrival to eastern North America, appearing first in the region in noticeable numbers in the 1970s. They are a significant source of deer mortality and most often prey on whitetails in the earliest months of their lives. Coyotes have long inhabited the American West.

[Image: 140509110746-large_zps73e4f1ad.jpg]
This is an Eastern coyote.

Coyotes are a major predator of white-tailed deer across the East, especially fawns born each spring, but wildlife managers nonetheless are able to stabilize and even grow deer herds, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Coyotes -- Canis latrans -- are a relatively recent arrival to eastern North America, appearing first in the region in noticeable numbers in the 1970s. They are a significant source of deer mortality and most often prey on whitetails in the earliest months of their lives. Coyotes have long inhabited the American West.
With the range expansion of coyotes eastward, and their crossbreeding with gray wolves (Canis lupus) along the way, Eastern coyotes are larger than their Western counterparts. Many people are concerned that their predation may be adversely affecting Eastern deer populations. Recently, lawmakers in Pennsylvania proposed placing a bounty on coyotes to incentivize their destruction for the sake of deer.
In response to those concerns, researchers initiated a study to look at deer and coyote populations from southeastern Canada through the mid-Atlantic region to the Southeast. Using published study data from throughout eastern North America that included fawn mortality, adult doe survival and reproductive rates -- and even the effects of severe winter weather on deer survival and predation -- researchers studied how deer populations responded to changes in predation and hunter harvest.
The research, published in the May issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management, aimed to determine whether managers can compensate for coyote predation of white-tailed deer.
"The concern is that coyotes may be changing the established population dynamics of white-tailed deer herds through increased predation on fawns," said Duane Diefenbach, adjunct professor of wildlife ecology and leader of the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit based at Penn State. "If that's true, then deer managers need to adjust how they make harvest-management decisions, because manipulating doe harvests is typically how wildlife agencies maintain, increase or decrease deer populations."
The study showed that coyote predation -- even at the highest levels reported -- is not significant enough to cause deer populations to decline if doe harvests are reduced. In fact, in most places in North America, continued doe harvest is required to stabilize deer populations.
Diefenbach said the only place in which that might not be true is the Southeast, where wildlife managers have found the highest predation rates on fawns by coyotes. In that region, an average of only one in four fawns survives to three months of age. But that is only in combination with extremely low doe-survival rates.
"However, we couldn't find any published research on adult-doe-survival rates in the Southeast, so it is possible that if doe hunting were stopped, deer populations would stabilize despite the heavy predation."
Mortality of white-tailed deer fawns is significant across the East, Diefenbach noted. Only an average of one in two survives its first three months of life, which is when most mortality occurs. Predation by coyotes, black bears and bobcats accounts for most mortality. Regardless, the number of fawns that survive generally is adequate to sustain nearly all populations.
"Besides predators, the other major source of mortality in fawns is hunting," said Diefenbach. "Thus, reduced hunting can be used to offset mortality from natural predators. Enough fawns survive all sources of mortality that we still need to harvest antlerless deer to maintain stable deer populations. There is little evidence to date that the increase in coyote predation could create a crisis that could not be solved by wildlife managers simply responding with reductions in antlerless deer harvests."

Journal Reference:
Kelly F. Robinson, Duane R. Diefenbach, Angela K. Fuller, Jeremy E. Hurst, Christopher S. Rosenberry. Can managers compensate for coyote predation of white-tailed deer? The Journal of Wildlife Management, 2014; 78 (4): 571 DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.693

Many studies have documented that coyotes (Canis latrans) are the greatest source of natural mortality for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) neonates (<3 months old). With the range expansion of coyotes eastward in North America, many stakeholders are concerned that coyote predation may be affecting deer populations adversely. We hypothesized that declines in neonate survival, perhaps caused by increasing coyote predation, could be offset by adjusting or eliminating antlerless harvest allocations. We used a stochastic, age-based population simulation model to evaluate combinations of low neonate survival rates, severe winters, and low adult deer survival rates to determine the effectiveness of reduced antlerless harvest at stabilizing deer populations. We found that even in regions with high winter mortality, reduced antlerless harvest rates could stabilize deer populations with recruitment and survival rates reported in the literature. When neonate survival rates were low (25%) and yearling and adult female survival rates were reduced by 10%, elimination of antlerless harvests failed to stabilize populations. Our results suggest increased deer mortality from coyotes can be addressed through reduced hunting harvest of adult female deer in most circumstances throughout eastern North America. However, specific knowledge of adult female survival rates is important for making management decisions in areas where both neonate and adult survival may be affected by predation and other mortality factors.

Sicilianu Wrote:Production of Hybrids between Western Gray Wolves and Western Coyotes
By:Mech, LD (Mech, L. David)[ 1 ] ; Christensen, BW (Christensen, Bruce W.)[ 2 ] ; Asa, CS (Asa, Cheryl S.)[ 3 ] ; Callahan, M (Callahan, Margaret)[ 4 ] ; Young, JK (Young, Julie K.)[ 5 ]

Volume: 9  Issue: 2
Article Number: e88861
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088861
Published: FEB 25 2014
View Journal Information

Using artificial insemination we attempted to produce hybrids between captive, male, western, gray wolves (Canis lupus) and female, western coyotes (Canis latrans) to determine whether their gametes would be compatible and the coyotes could produce and nurture offspring. The results contribute new information to an ongoing controversy over whether the eastern wolf (Canis lycaon) is a valid unique species that could be subject to the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Attempts with transcervically deposited wolf semen into nine coyotes over two breeding seasons yielded three coyote pregnancies. One coyote ate her pups, another produced a resorbed fetus and a dead fetus by C-section, and the third produced seven hybrids, six of which survived. These results show that, although it might be unlikely for male western wolves to successfully produce offspring with female western coyotes under natural conditions, western-gray-wolf sperm are compatible with western-coyote ova and that at least one coyote could produce and nurture hybrid offspring. This finding in turn demonstrates that gamete incompatibility would not have prevented western, gray wolves from inseminating western coyotes and thus producing hybrids with coyote mtDNA, a claim that counters the view that the eastern wolf is a separate species. However, some of the difficulties experienced by the other inseminated coyotes tend to temper that finding and suggest that more experimentation is needed, including determining the behavioral and physical compatibility of western gray wolves copulating with western coyotes. Thus although our study adds new information to the controversy, it does not settle it. Further study is needed to determine whether the putative Canis lycaon is indeed a unique species.

[Image: journal.pone.0088861.g002&representation=PNG_I]
Figure 2. Three 6–7-month-old, littermate, F1 hybrids between a male, western, gray wolf and a female, western coyote resulting from artificial insemination.

[Image: journal.pone.0088861.g003&representation=PNG_I]
Figure 3. Facial view of two 6–7-month-old F1 hybrids between a male, western, gray wolf and a female, western coyote resulting from artificial insemination.

[Image: journal.pone.0088861.g004&representation=PNG_I]
Figure 4. Side view of a 6–7-month-old F1 hybrid between a male, western, gray wolf and a female, western coyote resulting from artificial insemination.

Link to full article can be found here:

Taipan Wrote:Ancient Coyotes Had Larger Jaws, Sharper Teeth

by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer   |   December 31, 2014 02:00pm ET

[Image: Coyote-jaw-tarpit_zpsbcf8f67b.jpg]
An ancient coyote jaw salvaged from the Rancho La Brea tar pits in California.

Ancient coyotes hunted large prey, and had larger jaws and sharper teeth to bring down their choice meals than modern-day coyotes do, a new study reports.

The fierce coyotes of the past (Canis latrans) likely ate the young of large animals that roamed North America during the Pleistocene epoch, including juvenile llamas, camels and horses. But climate change and, to a small extent, human hunters, likely killed off these large animals as the Pleistocene ended about 11,500 years ago.

As the average size of its prey shrank, so did the coyote's jaws, said the study's lead author, Julie Meachen, an assistant professor of evolutionary biology at Des Moines University in Iowa.

Competition with other predators may have also led to smaller jaws. A major competitor with the coyote was the larger dire wolf. Although these animals went extinct along with other large animals as the climate of the Pleistocene warmed — with temperatures increasing by 5 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 6 degrees Celsius) — another large predator took the dire wolf's place.

The gray wolf migrated from Eurasia across the land bridge that once connected the lands across the Bering Strait, present-day Russia and Alaska. The gray wolf likely fought the coyote for dominance in North America.

"What probably happened is they met these coyotes who were still around, and since they (the gray wolves) were still bigger, they picked the big ones off," Meachen told Live Science.

In the new study, she and her colleagues looked at coyote jawbones from three time periods, including 66 jaws from coyotes that lived between 40,000 years to 11,500 years ago, 18 jaws from 10,000 years to 7,000 years ago, and 76 jaws that are less than 100 years old.

[Image: Coyote-jaw_zpscf6551ad.jpg]
A modern-day coyote jaw from the collection at the Field Museum in Chicago.

The older jaws came from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. Surprisingly, after dire wolves and saber-toothed cats, coyotes are the third most common animals in the tar pits, which contain the remains of many carnivores. "When a herbivore got trapped, it would bleat and scream, and it wouldn't be happy," Meachen said. "Those cries would attract all of the carnivores, who would dog pile it trying to get an easy meal."

The oldest coyote jawbones from the tar pits were thick and large with sharp teeth, and had less space for grinding plants. This suggests that these animals were adapted for eating meat and killing large prey, Meachen said.

Moreover, it's likely that coyotes once hunted like some dogs do today. Dogs with thick jaws are known to kill large prey by chasing it in packs and nipping the prey in the rear flank. "Then they pull back and they do this behavior over and over again," Meachen said. "And this wears the large prey down, and makes it easier for one of the dogs in the pack to bring it down."

The jaws from the tar pit dating to 10,000 years to 7,000 years ago are of intermediate size, and suggest that the coyote transitioned from a larger hunting machine to a smaller predator that eats small prey, such as rabbits and rodents, and that the teeth adapted to eat vegetation such as fruit, including pears and plums, Meachen said.

Meachen noted that scientists are not sure that modern-day coyotes are the direct descendants of the large-jawed animals from the Pleistocene. It's difficult to get DNA from ancient samples, so it's possible that rather than coyote jaws getting smaller over time, today's coyotes came from somewhere else.

For instance, when ancient pumas went extinct in North America, it was other subspecies of puma in South America that migrated north about 8,000 years ago to fill the abandoned niche, according to a 2013 study in the journal Genetics and Molecular Biology.

Still, the new findings on the coyote's jaw support other evidence that coyotes were once larger creatures. In a 2012 study by Meachen and her colleagues, the researchers found that coyote body size grew smaller over time.

The new study was published today (Dec. 31) in the journal PLOS ONE.

Ecological Changes in Coyotes (Canis latrans) in Response to the Ice Age Megafaunal Extinctions

Julie A. Meachen, Adrianna C. Janowicz, Jori E. Avery, Rudyard W. Sadleir
Published: December 31, 2014DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116041

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are an important species in human-inhabited areas. They control pests and are the apex predators in many ecosystems. Because of their importance it is imperative to understand how environmental change will affect this species. The end of the Pleistocene Ice Age brought with it many ecological changes for coyotes and here we statistically determine the changes that occurred in coyotes, when these changes occurred, and what the ecological consequences were of these changes. We examined the mandibles of three coyote populations: Pleistocene Rancho La Brean (13–29 Ka), earliest Holocene Rancho La Brean (8–10 Ka), and Recent from North America, using 2D geometric morphometrics to determine the morphological differences among them. Our results show that these three populations were morphologically distinct. The Pleistocene coyotes had an overall robust mandible with an increased shearing arcade and a decreased grinding arcade, adapted for carnivory and killing larger prey; whereas the modern populations show a gracile morphology with a tendency toward omnivory or grinding. The earliest Holocene populations are intermediate in morphology and smallest in size. These findings indicate that a niche shift occurred in coyotes at the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary – from a hunter of large prey to a small prey/more omnivorous animal. Species interactions between Canis were the most likely cause of this transition. This study shows that the Pleistocene extinction event affected species that did not go extinct as well as those that did.
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Bandog Wrote:Coyote pack kills a horse
[Image: GOPArqt.jpg]

Taipan Wrote:Big-game jitters: Coyotes no match for wolves' hunting prowess
Eastern coyote lacks the chops to replace wolves in the ecosystem

Date: March 23, 2017
Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
As wolf populations plummeted, the eastern coyote assumed the role of apex predator in forests along the Atlantic Coast. New research, however, shows that the eastern coyote is no match for the wolf. While the eastern coyote can bring down moose and other large prey, it prefers to attack smaller animals and to scavenge.

[Image: 170323152445_1_540x360.jpg]
John Benson, assistant professor of vertebrate ecology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
[small][small]Credit: Photo courtesy John Benson[/small][/small]

It may have replaced the dwindling eastern wolf atop many food chains, but the eastern coyote lacks the chops to become the big-game hunter of an ecosystem, new research led by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln ecologist shows.

Eastern wolves once roamed forests along the Atlantic coast, preying on moose, white-tailed deer and other hoofed mammals collectively known as ungulates. As the wolf population plummeted via the rifle and the trap, however, the eastern coyote inherited the status of apex predator in those habitats.

But a study from John Benson and colleagues provides evidence that the eastern coyote hunts moose and other large prey far less frequently than does the eastern wolf -- instead preferring to attack smaller game or scavenge human leftovers.

The findings help resolve long-standing questions about whether eastern coyotes have filled the ecological niche left vacant when the eastern wolf became threatened, Benson said.

"Wolves rely on large prey to survive," said Benson, assistant professor of vertebrate ecology who conducted the research as a doctoral student at Trent University. "But the smaller size of coyotes appears to give them dietary flexibility to survive on a wider variety of food and prey sizes, making them less predictable predators of large prey.

"Having a top predator that preys consistently on large animals like deer and moose may be an important part of maintaining stable predator-prey dynamics and healthy, naturally functioning ecosystems."

After GPS-tracking 10 packs of eastern wolves and analyzing their kill sites in Ontario, the team estimated that the wolves consumed 54 percent of their ungulate meat from moose and 46 percent from white-tailed deer. By contrast, eight packs of eastern coyote ancestry that occupied separate but neighboring territories got just 11 percent of their ungulate meat from moose and 89 percent from deer.

The eastern wolf weighs between 50 and 65 pounds; the eastern coyote typically hits 40 to 50. Though the extra weight gives eastern wolves a greater chance of killing a moose -- or at least surviving the encounter -- it also demands the greater caloric intake that moose and other meaty prey can provide.

Because wolves need to feed on large prey, their populations tend to rise and fall together, Benson said. Wolves may kill many moose during a winter, for instance, depleting their numbers. With fewer moose available, the wolf population declines, boosting the moose population, which in turn boosts the wolf population, and so on.

Yet the buffet-style menu of the eastern coyote means that its numbers can remain steady or even rise without large prey if alternative food is abundant. This opportunistic diet, Benson said, might also be driving erratic population swings among those lower on the food chain.

"It's important to understand the role that wolves play in ecosystems and to not assume that smaller predators ... perform the same ecological functions," Benson said. "If coyotes start hammering white-tailed deer, and deer start to decline, then (coyotes) can just eat rabbits or squirrels or garbage but continue to prey on deer, too. So we think that could be a destabilizing element.

"There are some areas where you've got way too many white-tailed deer in the east, and then you've got other areas where hunters are concerned because the deer are declining. That speaks to the fact that coyotes are an unpredictable predator."

The study is timely: Canada recently designated the eastern wolf as threatened, with the vast majority of eastern wolves living protected in Ontario's Algonquin Provincial Park.

Human-caused mortality has limited efforts to expand the population beyond Algonquin Park, Benson said, which is made worse by the fact that wolves there are likely naïve to the dangers posed by humans. Another issue: Eastern wolves readily breed with eastern coyotes in the wild, making it difficult to maintain a pure lineage.

"Is there a way to get them to expand numerically and geographically outside of the park? We're not sure at this point," said Benson, who provides advice to a team now developing a recovery plan. "One thing that can be managed is human-caused mortality, so if we can provide additional protection, that should put them on equal demographic footing.

"It's an incredibly challenging situation that is complicated by the interactions of these wolves with coyotes and humans. If the park stays the same, there's no immediate reason that they would go extinct. However, we wouldn't want to go forward with that as our only plan because it offers little chance for expansion."

Though large-scale reintroduction across eastern North America will probably not occur soon, Benson said the study emphasizes the value of preserving delicate predator-prey balances that ecosystems have calibrated over millennia.

"Our work suggests that there's an ecological role that wolves play that won't be played by other animals," he said. "That's probably a role that's worth conserving on landscapes, even outside protected areas. If we're interested in restoring landscapes to a more natural, functioning ecosystem, this would be an important part of that."

Story Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "Big-game jitters: Coyotes no match for wolves' hunting prowess: Eastern coyote lacks the chops to replace wolves in the ecosystem." ScienceDaily. (accessed March 24, 2017).

Journal Reference:
John F. Benson, Karen M. Loveless, Linda Y. Rutledge, Brent R. Patterson. Ungulate predation and ecological roles of wolves and coyotes in eastern North America. Ecological Applications, 2017; DOI: 10.1002/eap.1499

Understanding the ecological roles of species that influence ecosystem processes is a central goal of ecology and conservation biology. Eastern coyotes (Canis latrans) have ascended to the role of apex predator across much of eastern North America since the extirpation of wolves (Canis spp.) and there has been considerable confusion regarding their ability to prey on ungulates and their ecological niche relative to wolves. Eastern wolves (C. lycaon) are thought to have been the historical top predator in eastern deciduous forests and have previously been characterized as deer specialists that are inefficient predators of moose because of their smaller size relative to gray wolves (C. lupus). We investigated intrinsic and extrinsic influences on per capita kill rates of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and moose (Alces alces) during winter by sympatric packs of eastern coyotes, eastern wolves, and admixed canids in Ontario, Canada to clarify the predatory ability and ecological roles of the different canid top predators of eastern North America. Eastern coyote ancestry within packs negatively influenced per capita total ungulate (deer and moose combined) and moose kill rates. Furthermore, canids in packs dominated by eastern coyote ancestry consumed significantly less ungulate biomass and more anthropogenic food than packs dominated by wolf ancestry. Similar to gray wolves in previous studies, eastern wolves preyed on deer where they were available. However, in areas were deer were scarce, eastern wolves killed moose at rates similar to those previously documented for gray wolves at comparable moose densities across North America. Eastern coyotes are effective deer predators, but their dietary flexibility and low kill rates on moose suggest they have not replaced the ecological role of wolves in eastern North America.

Taipan Wrote:Why are coyote populations difficult to control?

Date: August 31, 2017
Source: Wiley

Conventional wisdom suggests that coyote control efforts actually result in an increase in the number of coyotes due to increasing litter sizes and pregnancy rates among individuals that survive. New research published in the Journal of Wildlife Management demonstrates that while litter size and pregnancy rates tend to increase somewhat after heavy trapping pressure, overall reproductive capacity of the population declines.

The reduced reproductive capacity is due to an increased representation of juveniles in the population, which rarely breed, coupled with a concurrent decrease in adults, which account for most of the breeding. A high influx of immigrants, many of which are younger animals vying for territories, render coyote populations extremely difficult to control, however.

"This work sheds a little more light on how coyote populations are able to recover so quickly from heavy persecution -- increased immigration seems to be much more important than increased reproduction," said Dr. John Kilgo, lead author of the study.

Story Source: Wiley. "Why are coyote populations difficult to control?." ScienceDaily. (accessed September 3, 2017).

Journal Reference:
John C. Kilgo, Christopher E. Shaw, Mark Vukovich, Michael J. Conroy, Charles Ruth. Reproductive characteristics of a coyote population before and during exploitation. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 2017; DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21329

The eastward expansion of coyotes (Canis latrans) has brought the species into ecosystems and landscapes different from those it historically occupied, yet little is known about the reproductive biology of coyotes in the southeastern United States or the effects of exploitation on reproduction in coyotes. Our objective was to quantify litter size, pregnancy rate, and fecundity in an essentially unexploited coyote population in South Carolina, USA and to evaluate the effect of exploitation on these parameters. We examined reproductive tracts from 235 female coyotes trapped during 2010–2012. Placental scars from coyotes trapped during 2010 indicated that prior to trapping (2009), pregnancy rates were zero for juveniles, 0.25 for yearlings, and 0.389 for adults. Litter size for adults during 2009 averaged 5.4 pups/female, resulting in fecundity of 2.1 pups/female. The number of coyotes trapped was similar among years, indicating that the population recovered following trapping each year, but it shifted toward a younger age structure during trapping. However, although pregnancy rate, litter size, and fecundity of adults all tended to increase from pre-trapping (2009) through the last trapping period (2011–2012), differences were not significant for this or any other age class. Fecundity of the population did not significantly increase during the first year of trapping (2010) but was lower during the last trapping period (2011–2012; 0.56 ± 0.15 [95% CL]) than prior to trapping (0.90 ± 0.15 [95% CL]). Thus, we observed only weak evidence for compensatory reproduction in response to trapping pressure and conclude that the increase in the juvenile component of the population was attributable primarily to immigration from neighboring areas rather than in situ reproduction. This increased representation of juveniles in the population, which rarely bred, coupled with a concurrent decrease in adults, which accounted for 59.2% of breeding, explains the reduction in population fecundity. High immigration rates as indicated herein render coyote populations extremely difficult to control.
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
How coyotes conquered the continent

Date: May 22, 2018
Source: North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

[Image: 180522114626_1_540x360.jpg]
Ranges are based on occurrence of museum specimens, peer-reviewed literature with associated specimens or photographs, and reports from state game departments. The distribution of coyotes between the Yucatán Peninsula and Nicaragua is coarsely depicted due to the paucity of available data, representing the earliest confirmed occurrence.
[small][small]Credit: James Hody[/small][/small]

Coyotes now live across North America, from Alaska to Panama, California to Maine. But where they came from, and when, has been debated for decades. Using museum specimens and fossil records, researchers from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina State University have produced a comprehensive (and unprecedented) range history of the expanding species that can help reveal the ecology of predation as well as evolution through hybridization. Their findings appeared in ZooKeys in May.

The geographic distribution of coyotes has dramatically expanded since 1900, spreading across much of North America in a period when most other mammal species have been declining. Although this unprecedented expansion has been well documented at the state/provincial scale, the continent-wide picture of coyote spread was coarse and largely anecdotal. A more thorough compilation of available records was needed. "We began by mapping the original range of coyotes using archeological and fossil records," says co-author Dr. Roland Kays, Head of the Museum's Biodiversity Lab and Research Associate Professor in NC State's Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. "We then plotted their range expansion across North America from 1900 to 2016 using museum specimens, peer-reviewed reports, and game department records." In all, Kays and lead author James Hody reviewed more than 12,500 records covering the past 10,000 years for this study.

Their findings indicate that coyotes historically occupied a larger area of North America than generally suggested in the literature. Previous maps, as it turns out, had ancient coyotes only located across the central deserts and grasslands. However, fossils from across the arid west link the distribution of coyotes from 10,000 years ago to specimens collected in the late 1800s, proving that their geographic range was not only broader but had been established for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, which also contradicts some widely-cited descriptions of their historical distribution.

It wasn't until approximately 1920 that coyotes began their expansion across North America. This was likely aided by an expansion of human agriculture, forest fragmentation, and hybridization with other species. Eastern expansion in particular was aided by hybridization with wolves and dogs, resulting in size and color variation among eastern coyotes.

Before too long, coyotes may no longer be just a North American species. Kays notes that coyotes are continually expanding their range in Central America, crossing the Panama Canal in 2010. Active camera traps are now spotting coyotes approaching the Darien Gap, a heavily forested region separating North and South America, suggesting that they are at the doorstep of South America.

"The expansion of coyotes across the American continent offers an incredible experiment for assessing ecological questions about their roles as predators, and evolutionary questions related to their hybridization with dogs and wolves," adds Hody. "By collecting and mapping these museum data we were able to correct old misconceptions of their original range, and more precisely map and date their recent expansions.

"We hope these maps will provide useful context for future research into the ecology and evolution of this incredibly adaptive carnivore."

Story Source: North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. "How coyotes conquered the continent." ScienceDaily. (accessed May 22, 2018).

Journal Reference:
James W. Hody, Roland Kays. Mapping the expansion of coyotes (Canis latrans) across North and Central America. ZooKeys, 2018; 759: 81 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.759.15149

The geographic distribution of coyotes (Canis latrans) has dramatically expanded since 1900, spreading across much of North America in a period when most other mammal species have been declining. Although this considerable expansion has been well documented at the state/provincial scale, continent-wide descriptions of coyote spread have portrayed conflicting distributions for coyotes prior to the 1900s, with popularly referenced anecdotal accounts showing them restricted to the great plains, and more obscure, but data-rich accounts suggesting they ranged across the arid west. To provide a scientifically credible map of the coyote’s historical range (10,000–300 BP) and describe their range expansion from 1900 to 2016, we synthesized archaeological and fossil records, museum specimens, peer-reviewed reports, and records from wildlife management agencies. Museum specimens confirm that coyotes have been present in the arid west and California throughout the Holocene, well before European colonization. Their range in the late 1800s was undistinguishable from earlier periods, and matched the distribution of non-forest habitat in the region. Coyote expansion began around 1900 as they moved north into taiga forests, east into deciduous forests, west into costal temperate rain forests, and south into tropical rainforests. Forest fragmentation and the extirpation of larger predators probably enabled these expansions. In addition, hybridization with wolves (C. lupus, C. lycaon, and/or C. rufus) and/or domestic dogs has been documented in the east, and suspected in the south. Our detailed account of the original range of coyotes and their subsequent expansion provides the core description of a large scale ecological experiment that can help us better understand the predator-prey interactions, as well as evolution through hybridization.

Attached Files
.pdf   Mapping the expansion of coyotes (Canis latrans) across North and Central America.pdf (Size: 1.4 MB / Downloads: 1)
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Taipan's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu
Some accounts of coyotes with larger predators.  Whilst I am not trying to argue the coyote can reasonably take on a bear, wolf or cougar, I.M.O these are still noteworthy. Even a recent dispersal cougar is still much larger than a coyote and for a very old individual to notably wound its attacker is impressive. Attached is the whole note but there is little out of the ordinary re: cougars predating coyotes otherwise.

"In February 1984 a small cougar killed a very old coyote near the mouth of Akokala Creek in northwestern Glacier national park, Montana. All that remained of the coyote was the tail, part of the hide, the lower hind legs, and the head and neck. Massive hemorrhaging occurred under the skin along the throat, and between the eyes and ears. Puncture holes were 2 - 4mm in diameter and the cranial cavity was crushed. The cougar was wounded during the struggle, leaving much blood in its tracks and beds after it left the kill site, where torn up ground and many clumps of cougar and coyote fur were found. The small tracks from this animal indicated that it was a young animal recently separated from its mother. "


Here is also an account of two coyotes killing a yearling black bear from California :

In 'Carnivores in Ecosystems: The Yellowstone Experience' the authors of the coyote chapter mention recording adult coyotes attacking and chasing away cougars and bears near dens but with little extra detail.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Canidae's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)