Canid and Ungulate Ecology Lab

Objectives

· understand how coyotes are able to withstand such high levels of persecution without any visible decline in numbers

· quantify the spatial and temporal aspects of coyote depredation on livestock in agricultural areas of southern Ontario

· based on the above, assess efficiency of common control options employed against coyotes in response to depredation concerns

Study Area

· Prince Edward County (PEC), located in southeastern Ontario on a large irregular headland on the northeastern shore of Lake Ontario. The area is mostly agricultural and supports a large livestock industry—factors that are favourable to coyotes. With reports of high coyote numbers, high coyote harvest, and increasing cases of livestock depredation, PEC is an ideal area to conduct this study.

Funding Agencies: NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council)

  MNRF Applied Research and Development Branch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overview

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Coyotes range across the majority of North America and are considered the archetypal generalist, able to adapt and thrive in a variety of environments. Coyotes exhibit much variation in diet, habitat use, activity patterns, and demography, making them an interesting animal to study, but often a difficult one to manage. The continued persecution of coyotes remains generally ineffective in controlling their numbers. Given the perceived increase in coyote numbers and conflicts with humans, we are undertaking this study to learn more about coyote life history in southern Ontario and better inform management of these animals.

 

Effects of Harvest Pressure on Eastern Coyote (Canis latrans) Population Demography

Current Projects

Project Updates

 

—JANUARY 14, 2013—

             Our third and final year of live-trapping and collaring coyotes is now complete. There were 47 coyotes collared in our final field season. In total, 147 coyotes were collared for the project. Although the majority of field work is now complete, this winter will we conduct track-count surveys when snow conditions are adequate. 

 

—NOVEMBER 30, 2011—

             We live-trapped and radio-collared 61 coyotes this field season. Since the project began in 2010, we have radio-collared 100 coyotes in total: 67 males + 33 females. Of these individuals, 39 were pups and 61 were yearlings/adults.

 

—DECEMBER 10, 2010—

             During the spring-fall 2010, 39 coyotes were live-trapped and fitted with radio-collars. In addition to sexing and estimating the age of each animal, blood and hair samples were taken, which will be used in disease screening and genetic analysis to determine pack composition and genetic-relatedness of the family groups. Using data from the GPS-collared coyotes, we have been able to assess movements of transient and territorial individuals and get preliminary estimates of the number of territories and average territory size of coyotes in Prince Edward County. Depredation cases were investigated throughout the field season to collect potential coyote DNA from puncture wounds on the livestock animal.

             This winter, we will continue to monitor survival of the collared coyotes, conduct track-based surveys, and initiate genetic analyses. Additional trapping will commence in Spring 2011.

To contact us:

Phone: 705-755-1553

Fax: 705-755-1559

E-mail: brent.patterson@ontario.ca