Event Title

Are domesticated animals a key prey item for Canis latrans in Pennsylvania?

Presenter Information

Thomas Moran, Susquehanna University

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Carlos Iudica

Start Date

23-4-2019 4:00 PM

End Date

23-4-2019 5:00 PM

Description

Coyotes (Canis latrans) started expanding into the East Coast in the early 1900’s due to the absence and reduction of apex predator populations like the Eastern wolf (Canis Lycaon) and Red wolf (Canis rufus) and habitat change due to increased logging and agriculture industries. Due to the loss of these apex predators, the coyote has assumed this role in many regions including Pennsylvania. The rapid expansion has led to a fear from the public that coyotes are dangerous and a threat to native animals, livestock, and family pets. This is supported by Pennsylvania law that allows for the hunting of coyotes without a tag limits or season limitations. This systematic and massive hunting can have unforeseen ecological consequences, leading to overpopulation of white-tail deer and small rodents. This study aims to determine if domesticated animals such as livestock (cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens) and pets (cats and dogs) are indeed, prey items to coyotes. This is to help determine the level of threat that coyotes are to humans. To help determine the level of threat that coyotes are to humans, coyote stomachs were collected from 2009-2012. Five stomachs from five counties were selected for their contents to be analyzed. The bones and hairs were identified using Susquehanna University’s ad hoc reference collections. Data from previous studies was also be used. I hypothesize that livestock and pets are not key prey items. This is due to studies that have shown attack and kill rates between coyotes and pets in large metropolitan areas studies identifying low amounts of livestock in coyote stomachs from several states including Pennsylvania.

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Apr 23rd, 4:00 PM Apr 23rd, 5:00 PM

Are domesticated animals a key prey item for Canis latrans in Pennsylvania?

Coyotes (Canis latrans) started expanding into the East Coast in the early 1900’s due to the absence and reduction of apex predator populations like the Eastern wolf (Canis Lycaon) and Red wolf (Canis rufus) and habitat change due to increased logging and agriculture industries. Due to the loss of these apex predators, the coyote has assumed this role in many regions including Pennsylvania. The rapid expansion has led to a fear from the public that coyotes are dangerous and a threat to native animals, livestock, and family pets. This is supported by Pennsylvania law that allows for the hunting of coyotes without a tag limits or season limitations. This systematic and massive hunting can have unforeseen ecological consequences, leading to overpopulation of white-tail deer and small rodents. This study aims to determine if domesticated animals such as livestock (cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens) and pets (cats and dogs) are indeed, prey items to coyotes. This is to help determine the level of threat that coyotes are to humans. To help determine the level of threat that coyotes are to humans, coyote stomachs were collected from 2009-2012. Five stomachs from five counties were selected for their contents to be analyzed. The bones and hairs were identified using Susquehanna University’s ad hoc reference collections. Data from previous studies was also be used. I hypothesize that livestock and pets are not key prey items. This is due to studies that have shown attack and kill rates between coyotes and pets in large metropolitan areas studies identifying low amounts of livestock in coyote stomachs from several states including Pennsylvania.