Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for

 

Date of this Version

January 2004

Abstract

Being a habitat generalist is an adaptation suategy that has allowed the coyote to expand its range. As wolves reestablish, or are reintroduced, resident populations of coyotes may change habitat use. We compared habitat use between coyotes and wolves in Glacier National Park after successful recolonization by wolves. Two wolf oacks and nine coyotes were monitored from June 1994 throueh June 1997 to determine habitat use in northwestern Montana. Wolves used habitat types within their home ranges in proportion to availability during the winter, but not the summer when more open areas and burned forests were used. Most coyotes used habitat types within their home ranges in proportion to availability in summer and winter. Coyotes may use open habitats to avoid encounters with predators other than wolves (i.e., cougars), and for access to small mammals during the summer. In addition, coyotes used areas closer to roads than wolves, and used NE-NW aspects more frequently while wolves occupied SE-SW and SW-NW aspects. Although habitat use was similar between canids, coexistence of coyotes and wolves in the Glacier National Park area may be facilitated through differential use of topographic charactenstics (i.e., slope, aspect, and areas near roads).