Coyote coexistence with wolves on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

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Coyote food habits, home range, and interactions with wolves were examined on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska (1976 - 1980), to determine mechanisms of competition between the two species. Scat analyses (percent frequency occurrence) indicated coyotes relied primarily on snowshoe hare, porcupine, and small mammals. Coyote home ranges overlapped those of wolves and averaged 104.0 ± 44.6 (SE) and 70.2 ± 10.4 km2 for males and females, respectively. The ratio of coyotes to wolves captured on public roads was 10:1, while the ratio on roads closed to vehicle access was 0.71:1. Eight instances of wolves killing coyotes are reported. Lack of or minimal exploitation competition appears to allow coexistence of wolves and coyotes, while interference competition is believed to account for the difference in canid abundance near the two road types.

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Canadian Journal of Zoology