The recent co-occurrence of red wolves (Canis rufus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) in eastern North Carolina provides a unique opportunity to study prey partitioning by sympatric canids. We collected scats from this region and examined them for prey contents. We used fecal DNA analysis to identify which taxa deposited each scat and multinomial modeling designed for mark–recapture data to investigate diets of sympatric red wolves and coyotes. Diets of red wolves and coyotes did not differ, but the proportion of small rodents in the composite scats of both canids was greater in the spring than in the summer. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), rabbits (Sylvilagus spp.), and small rodents were the most common diet items in canid scats. The similarity of diet between red wolves and coyotes suggests that these 2 species may be affecting prey populations similarly.
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Vol. 94 • No. 5