Seasonal food habits of the coyote (Canis latrans) on differing landscapes in the Piedmont Region of Georgia
Kelly, James David
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I evaluated the seasonal food habits of coyotes via scat analysis from March 2010 through February 2011 on Cedar Creek (CC) and B.F. Grant (BFG) Wildlife Management Areas. These sites in the Piedmont Region of central Georgia differ in habitat composition and, therefore, the availability of food items. BFG had a greater proportion of early successional habitat (28%) than CC (7%), likely resulting in increased availability of small mammal prey items. I analyzed 353 scats, and commonly occurring food items included persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), muscadines (Vitis rotundifolia), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus), rabbits (Sylvilagus spp.), and insects. Occurrence of these food items in coyote scats differed by season and study site. During the fawning season, 61.5% and 26.7% of scats contained fawn remains on BFG and CC, respectively, likely due to a greater fawn abundance on BFG. My data suggest that abundant alternative prey may not buffer fawn predation.