Factors Affecting Elicitation of Vocal Response from Coyotes and Population-Level Response to a Pulsed Resource Event
Petroelje, Tyler Robert
AdvisorBelant, Jerrold L.
CommitteeLeopold, Bruce D.
Beyer Jr., Dean E.
Long-distance vocalizations by canids play an important role in communication among individuals. I evaluated efficacy of broadcasted coyote (Canis latrans) group-yip calls and gray wolf (C. lupus) lone howls to elicit vocal responses from 18 GPS-collared coyotes on 144 occasions. I concluded that eliciting coyote vocalizations where wolves are present will not bias responses, and recommend eliciting coyote vocalizations using recorded coyote group-yip howls during July–September to estimate species’ presence or density. From foraging theory, generalist predators should increase consumption of prey if prey availability increases. I estimated densities for coyotes, adult deer, and fawns, and collected coyote scat to estimate occurrence and biomass of adult and fawn deer consumed by coyotes during 2 periods. I suggest that consumption rates of coyotes was associated positively with increases in fawn density, and fawn consumption by coyotes follows predictions of foraging theory during this pulsed resource event.