INFLUENCE OF AN ABUNDANT SUPPLY OF CARRION ON POPULATION PARAMETERS OF THE COYOTE

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/282416
Title:
INFLUENCE OF AN ABUNDANT SUPPLY OF CARRION ON POPULATION PARAMETERS OF THE COYOTE
Author:
Fisher, Alan Raymond
Issue Date:
1980
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Coyotes fed upon agricultural carrion at feedlots operated by the Farmer's Investment Company (FICO) and Roisland Farms. Agricultural carrion was not available in the Whetstone area. The FICO feedlot stopped operating in May 1976, and carrion was not available there after that time. Coyotes were trapped and shot at the FICO feedlot from November 1975 through March 1976, from June through August 1976, and from May through August 1977. Coyotes were trapped at Roisland Farms in July and August 1976 and January and February 1977. A trapper collected coyotes in the Whetstone area from January through March 1976 and from November 1976 through February 1977. I operated a scent station line on the Santa Rita Experimental Range on a monthly basis from October 1975 through June 1976, from September 1976 through June 1977, and in December 1977. From data on the visitation of scent stations by coyotes, lagomorphs, and small mammals I calculated indices of monthly relative abundance for each animal group. There were no differences among the age distributions, weights, ovulation rates, and litter sizes of coyotes from the 3 study areas. The mean weights of all adult-sized male and female coyotes collected during this study were 11.1 and 9.3 kg, respectively. The overall mean ovulation rate and mean litter size were 4.1 and 3.4, respectively. At FICO and Roisland, 70 to 90% of yearling and adult females bred, but only 20% bred in the Whetstone area. There were more male than female coyotes at FICO, but sex ratios were not different from 1:1 at Roisland and Whetstone. The visitation rates of coyotes, lagomorphs, and small mammals fluctuated greatly during this study. Monthly visitation rates of coyotes differed significantly, but annual and daily rates did not. The visitation rates of both lagomorphs and small mammals were significantly different between years and among months, but not among days. Lagomorph and small mammal visitation increased significantly after the trapping of coyotes and the end of the FICO carrion supply in the summer of 1976. Coyote visitation appeared to decrease after the summer of 1976. Prior to the summer of 1976, the visitation rates of coyotes and lagomorphs were positively correlated, but the rates of coyotes and small mammals were not correlated. After the summer of 1976, coyote visitation was negatively correlated with both lagomorph and small mammal visitation. The distribution of coyote and lagomorph visits along the scent station line did not change after the summer of 1976. Small mammal visitation, however, increased in the distant section of the line after the summer of 1976. Coyotes visited stations located on the upwind side of the road more frequently than they stopped at stations on the downwind side. Lagomorphs showed no preference for either side of the road, but small mammals visited more stations on the downwind side of the road than on the upwind side. The breeding rate at FICO did not decrease after the carrion supply ended. It seems unlikely, therefore, that the high breeding rate at FICO was caused by feeding on carrion. The scent station technique has potential as a means of monitoring the monthly relative abundance of coyotes and certain prey groups. Unfortunately, visitation is a function of animal numbers and activity. Further research is required to quantify the relationship between visitation and abundance for each animal group.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Coyote -- Arizona.; Population biology -- Arizona.; Predatory animals -- Arizona.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Renewable Natural Resources
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Smith, Norman S.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleINFLUENCE OF AN ABUNDANT SUPPLY OF CARRION ON POPULATION PARAMETERS OF THE COYOTEen_US
dc.creatorFisher, Alan Raymonden_US
dc.contributor.authorFisher, Alan Raymonden_US
dc.date.issued1980en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractCoyotes fed upon agricultural carrion at feedlots operated by the Farmer's Investment Company (FICO) and Roisland Farms. Agricultural carrion was not available in the Whetstone area. The FICO feedlot stopped operating in May 1976, and carrion was not available there after that time. Coyotes were trapped and shot at the FICO feedlot from November 1975 through March 1976, from June through August 1976, and from May through August 1977. Coyotes were trapped at Roisland Farms in July and August 1976 and January and February 1977. A trapper collected coyotes in the Whetstone area from January through March 1976 and from November 1976 through February 1977. I operated a scent station line on the Santa Rita Experimental Range on a monthly basis from October 1975 through June 1976, from September 1976 through June 1977, and in December 1977. From data on the visitation of scent stations by coyotes, lagomorphs, and small mammals I calculated indices of monthly relative abundance for each animal group. There were no differences among the age distributions, weights, ovulation rates, and litter sizes of coyotes from the 3 study areas. The mean weights of all adult-sized male and female coyotes collected during this study were 11.1 and 9.3 kg, respectively. The overall mean ovulation rate and mean litter size were 4.1 and 3.4, respectively. At FICO and Roisland, 70 to 90% of yearling and adult females bred, but only 20% bred in the Whetstone area. There were more male than female coyotes at FICO, but sex ratios were not different from 1:1 at Roisland and Whetstone. The visitation rates of coyotes, lagomorphs, and small mammals fluctuated greatly during this study. Monthly visitation rates of coyotes differed significantly, but annual and daily rates did not. The visitation rates of both lagomorphs and small mammals were significantly different between years and among months, but not among days. Lagomorph and small mammal visitation increased significantly after the trapping of coyotes and the end of the FICO carrion supply in the summer of 1976. Coyote visitation appeared to decrease after the summer of 1976. Prior to the summer of 1976, the visitation rates of coyotes and lagomorphs were positively correlated, but the rates of coyotes and small mammals were not correlated. After the summer of 1976, coyote visitation was negatively correlated with both lagomorph and small mammal visitation. The distribution of coyote and lagomorph visits along the scent station line did not change after the summer of 1976. Small mammal visitation, however, increased in the distant section of the line after the summer of 1976. Coyotes visited stations located on the upwind side of the road more frequently than they stopped at stations on the downwind side. Lagomorphs showed no preference for either side of the road, but small mammals visited more stations on the downwind side of the road than on the upwind side. The breeding rate at FICO did not decrease after the carrion supply ended. It seems unlikely, therefore, that the high breeding rate at FICO was caused by feeding on carrion. The scent station technique has potential as a means of monitoring the monthly relative abundance of coyotes and certain prey groups. Unfortunately, visitation is a function of animal numbers and activity. Further research is required to quantify the relationship between visitation and abundance for each animal group.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectCoyote -- Arizona.en_US
dc.subjectPopulation biology -- Arizona.en_US
dc.subjectPredatory animals -- Arizona.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineRenewable Natural Resourcesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSmith, Norman S.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest8022833en_US
dc.identifier.oclc7188496en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b1329331xen_US
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