Date of this Version
Mastro, L.L., D.J. Morin, and E.M. Gese. 2019. Home range and habitat use of West Virginia Canis latrans (coyote). Northeastern Naturalist 26(3):616-628. doi: 10.1656/045.026.0318
Canis latrans (Coyote) has undergone a range expansion in the United States over the last century. As a highly opportunistic species, its home range and habitat use changes with ecological context. Coyotes were first reported in West Virginia in 1950 but were not commonly observed until the 1990s, and there is scant information on Coyotes in the region. We used telemetry data from 8 radiocollared Coyotes in West Virginia to estimate home-range size and third-order habitat selection. Home-range areas (95% utilization distributions; UDs) varied from 5.22 to 27.79 km2 (mean = 12.48 ± 2.61 km2), with highly concentrated use of smaller core areas (mean 50% UD = 1.85 ± 0.34 km2), indicated by low flatness ratios (50% isopleths/95% isopleths varied from 0.11 to 0.20). Third-order habitat selection revealed most use was proportional to availability, although there was evidence of avoidance of disturbed /developed and riparian land cover at the 95% UD scale, and selection for softwood stands at both spatial scales when available. Our results provide preliminary space-use information for West Virginia Coyotes and suggest that although Coyotes are habitat generalists, space use in the region is not uniform, but instead concentrated in disjointed areas that are used intensively.
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