Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

April 1995


Published in Coyotes in the Southwest: A Compendium of Our Knowledge. Symposium Proceedings, December 13–14, 1995, San Angelo, TX, edited by Dale Rollins, Calvin Richardson, Terry Blankenship, Kem Canon, and Scott Henke. Austin, Texas, 1996. Used by permission.


There are situations where it is necessary to determine the cause of death of livestock, game animals, or other wildlife. Criteria used for recognizing predator kills are well known and scientifically documented. These criteria include the attack, killing and feeding behavior of predators as well as the characteristics of their tracks, droppings, and canine teeth size and spacing. Diagnostic criteria for recognizing coyote (Canis latrans), domestic dog, fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus, Vulpes vulpes), cougar (Felis concolor) , bobcat (Lynx rufus), bear (Ursus spp ), and eagle (mostly Aquila chrysaetos) predation are presented in this paper.