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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Wildlife & Fisheries Conservation

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2010

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

Coyote, Canis latrans, Land Use, Home Range, Preference Index, Spatial Data Analysis

Abstract

Historically, coyotes were associated with the western United States. During their expansion eastward, coyotes have become more tolerant of humans and have been able to live in varying degrees of urbanization. One main question ecologists around the country are asking is how coyotes are surviving in anthropogenic environments. To aid in answering this question, I have compared coyote land use preference generally and specifically during coyote breeding season, winter and summer, human tourist seasons, and day and night. I also compared coyote land cover preference for deciduous and evergreen cover types during natural seasons. I found that, in general, there was a high variation of preference between and within land use categories. More broadly however, they prefer natural areas over non-natural areas. They used natural and non-natural land use types equally in winter and summer, and during tourist and off-tourist seasons with increased variation in preference during seasons with higher human activity. They had a higher preference for non-natural land use types at night. There is no difference in coyote preference for deciduous or evergreen cover types during the seasons.

First Advisor

John T. Finn

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