Coyote (Canis latrans) Predation Research in Virginia
Over the past 30 years, coyotes have expanded their range dramatically. Whereas they originally only resided in the mid to western states of the U.S., today coyotes can be found throughout the eastern seaboard. As a top carnivore, biologists want to know what coyotes are eating.
Research of scats has revealed that 2/3 of coyote scats studied in 2011 contained deer. A similar percentage was found in bobcat scats. Black bear scats, however, revealed the presence of deer in only 36% of the scats. The scat study was limited to Virginia.
These findings show that scientists need to learn more about the cumulative effect of these predators on deer populations. Since deer are an important resource, learning more about the interactions of predation is particularly relevant to wildlife management officials.
Source: Bock, Bob. 2012. Coyote Research in Virginia. Wildlife Professional 6:3(Fall):74.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a certified wildlife control operator who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest book is the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
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