U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

August 2002


Published in the Journal of Mammalogy, 83(3):754–766, 2002.


We studied effects of recolonizing wolves (Canis lupus) in the North Fork of the Flathead area of northwestern Montana on the diets of coyotes (C. latrans) from 1994 to 1997. Wolf and coyote diets differed in frequency of occurrence of prey species during 3 of the 4 summers and winters (P< 0.001) during the study. Coyote diets contained more murid prey items, and wolf diets contained more deer (Odocoileus virginianus and O. hemionus) in the summer and elk (Cervus elaphus) in the winter. Coyotes and wolves ate prey of different size during both the summer (P < 0.001) and winter (P < 0.001) months in 1994– 1996: wolves took a greater proportion (P < 0.001) of large (>45 kg) prey species and coyotes, small (<2 kg) prey (P < 0.001). Wolves selected a larger proportion of adults (P < 0.001), whereas coyotes selected a larger proportion of juveniles (P < 0.001) during summer. We believe that differential use of food resources facilitates coexistence of wolves and coyotes in the North Fork of the Flathead area.