The recent expansion of Canis latrans (Coyote) into the eastern United States has generated interest among wildlife managers because of the potential impacts on Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed Deer) populations. Coyotes have been reported as predators of adult and neonate White-tailed Deer in some parts of their range, but recent studies in the Southeast have documented only Coyote predation on neonates. We report 4 confirmed Coyote predation events on adult female White-tailed Deer that were radiocollared, implanted with vaginal implant transmitters, monitored every 4–8 hours, and apparently healthy. Field necropsies confirmed killing-bite wounds to the upper throat and base of the mandible, and feeding behavior on the carcasses was consistent with what has been observed for Coyotes. Further, we used swabs from bite wounds to confirm the presence of predator DNA, and the 3 carcasses that were swabbed tested positive for the presence of Coyote DNA. To our knowledge, our results represent the first scientifically documented Coyote predations on adult female White-tailed Deer in the Southeast.
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Vol. 13 • No. 3