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


Date of this Version

April 2000


Published in Can. J. Zool. 78: 458464 (2000) © 2000 NRC Canada. Permission to use.


Long-term stability of territorial boundaries has not been well documented in canids. To evaluate the prevalence of long-term spatial stability of coyote (Canis latrans) home ranges, we compared the overlap of territorial boundaries and the spatial distribution of telemetry locations of packs in southeastern Colorado. From August 1983 to July 1988 (period l), 16 coyotes from six packs were radio-tracked. From April 1996 to August 1997 (period 2), 12 coyotes from six packs were captured and tracked in the same area. Mean percentage of overlap of pack ranges was 89.8 ± 8.3% (+SD) for period 1 ranges over period 2 ranges and 55.8 ± 14.4% for period 2 ranges over period 1 ranges. Mean percentage of overlap of the 30% core area of the home ranges was 65.2 ± 13.9% for those of period 1 over those of period 2 and 66.3 ± 28.7% for those of period 2 over those of period 1. Despite substantial overlap of home-range and core-use areas, there were significant differences in the distribution of locations between periods in five of six home ranges. This suggests that, although packs are faithful to one site (i.e., boundaries remain similar over a period of years), their use of the site (i.e., distribution of locations within the range) may change temporally.