Coyote space use in relation to prey abundance

L. S. Mills, F. F. Knowlton

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Explored the relationship between food abundance for Canis latrans and space use in the N Great Basin, where the primary prey, blacked-tailed jackrabbit Lepus californicus, fluctuates dramatically in abundance. At one site, home ranges and territories were significantly larger during a time of prey scarcity than when prey was abundant. Coyotes on a second site had similar-size home ranges and territories at low and high prey abundance, but a higher proportion and probably a higher number of individuals were transients during the prey-scarcity period. Mortality rates of coyotes are probably an important factor mediating adjustments in space use to food abundance. Higher mortality rates may simply permit more rapid adjustment of home range size to changing food conditions. Alternatively, higher mortality may selectively eliminate transients, thus reducing the impact of intruders in limiting the size of the remaining territories. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1521
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991


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