Coyotes (Canis latrans) are a recent addition to southeastern ecosystems and regional studies are needed to understand their ecological role. Most studies from the southeast are concentrated on diets from animals on the coastal plain. Here we report on the diet and habitat use of coyotes on the Chattahoochee National Forest, which is located in northeast Georgia at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Mountains. Seventeen total scat samples were collected from March through May 2014. Habitat types and GPS coordinates of each sample were also recorded. Gray squirrel (65%) was the most common food item and occurred along with plant matter (53%) and arthropod exoskeletons (35%), suggesting that these food items were likely scavenged. Wild hog (18%), identified by adult guard hairs, also appeared to be scavenged. Small mammals and perching birds comprised a large portion of the diets, whereas white-tail deer were rarely recorded. Two competitors, bobcat and gray fox, were also identified in the scat samples. The most common habitat types were edges and logging roads, with little utilization of open hardwoods.
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Vol. 89 • No. 1