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1 July 2007 Spatial and Temporal Variation in the Diet of Coyotes in the Chicago Metropolitan Area
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Abstract

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are an opportunistic predator that have adapted to many human-modified environments. Conflicts between coyotes and humans are an increasing concern for managers in urban areas. We examined the spatial and temporal utilization and availability of natural and human-associated food for coyotes in the Chicago metropolitan area, Illinois, USA. We collected 1429 coyote scats from May 2000 to December 2002, and conducted prey surveys in 2002, in 4 sites that varied in their degree of urban development. Dominant food items included small rodents, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), fruit, eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) and birds. Their availability and occurrence in scats varied among sites and seasons. The occurrence of human-associated food items, which was only found in significant amounts in the most developed site, varied seasonally (2–25%). Because coyotes in less-developed areas had lower dietary diversity, these coyotes may have to venture into developed areas when there is a decline in the abundance of major prey species for that specific area.

PAUL S. MOREY, ERIC M. GESE, and STANLEY GEHRT "Spatial and Temporal Variation in the Diet of Coyotes in the Chicago Metropolitan Area," The American Midland Naturalist 158(1), 147-161, (1 July 2007). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031(2007)158[147:SATVIT]2.0.CO;2
Received: 5 August 2005; Accepted: 1 November 2006; Published: 1 July 2007
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