August 5, 2020

Coyote and Coyote Wolf Cross-Breeds Attack and Kill Moose

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Abstract:

It has been widely assumed that coyotes (Canis latrans Say, 1823) are incapable of killing adult moose (Alces alces (L., 1758)) and previous studies of coyote predation support this assumption. However, eastern coyotes and eastern coyote × eastern wolf (Canis lycaon Schreber, 1775) are larger than western coyotes and appear to rely on larger prey in some areas. We used a combination of GPS telemetry, genetic analysis, and field investigation to test the hypothesis that eastern coyotes and coyote × wolf hybrids are capable of preying on adult moose in central Ontario. Our hypothesis was supported, as we documented four definitive cases of eastern coyotes and (or) eastern coyote × eastern wolf hybrids killing moose ?1.5 years old. Predation by coyotes and coyote × wolf hybrids probably does not represent a threat to moose population viability in central Ontario, but our results suggest that researchers and managers in other areas with declining moose populations that are sympatric with eastern coyotes and (or) coyote × wolf hybrids should consider coyote predation as a potential source of mortality.<<<Read the full Study>>>

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