Home range and food habits of the coyote (Canis latrans) at the Savannah River Site, South Carolina
Schrecengost, Joshua David
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Coyote food habits were assessed by fecal analysis of 415 scats collected from May 2005 through July 2006 on the Savannah River Site, South Carolina. Seasonally available soft mast was the most common food item in 12 of the 15 months sampled. Adult white-tailed deer occurred most frequently in December and March, and fawn remains were common during May and June. Thirty-three adult coyotes were radio collared between April and October 2005 and monitored through September 2006. Radio telemetry locations were used to assess home range size and habitat selection was assessed by compositional analysis. Coyote home ranges averaged 31.8 km using the fixed Kernel method (30.5 km Minimum Convex Polygon) and contained more early successional habitat than was available on the landscape. Data from this study suggest that coyotes are heavily dependant on soft mast, may be affecting local white-tailed deer populations, and have larger home ranges with more intraspecific overlap than previously reported in the Southeast.