The Wolf Intelligencer


Wolves and Coyotes (Canis latrans)

Coyotes (Canis latrans)  in Yellowstone


Canis latrans (Coyote) – IUCN Red List
Project Coyote (Larkspur, CA)
Coyote Nation – National Wildlife Federation
Protecting Coyotes at Risk – Predator Defense
The Coyote Champion – Earth Island Institute
COYOTE — Blog — The Canid Project
Eastern Coyote | Wolf Conservation Center
Coyote – Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation

Journal Articles

Activity pattern variation of three canine species in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Hinshaw, T.E., 2021


The coyote (Canis latrans), the gray wolf (Canis lupus), and the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) are all known to be ecologically significant predators. All three are widely known canine species ranging in size, but also share similarities due to their close taxonomic relationship. Yet, they have many notable differences as a result of adapting to different drivers of speciation, such as competition or food source availability. Further, it is my goal to determine if there are differences in their daily activity patterns which have previously been observed as crepuscular. Data used for my research was collected using camera traps from the Snapshot USA project located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. By running a chi square test, I determined that coyotes are nocturnal, however, the red fox and gray wolf are indeterminant, or cathemeral. Studying daily activity patterns is vital to understanding a species ecological role and impact on their environment. Further research could determine how species activity patterns have impacted various wildlife populations and communities, as well as potential ecological drivers and disturbances that have caused these activity patterns.

Interference competition between wolves and coyotes during variable prey abundance. Petroelje TR, Kautz TM, Beyer Jr DE, Belant JL. Ecology and evolution. 2021 Feb


Interference competition occurs when two species have similar resource requirements and one species is dominant and can suppress or exclude the subordinate species. Wolves (Canis lupus) and coyotes (C. latrans) are sympatric across much of their range in North America where white‐tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) can be an important prey species. We assessed the extent of niche overlap between wolves and coyotes using activity, diet, and space use as evidence for interference competition during three periods related to the availability of white‐tailed deer fawns in the Upper Great Lakes region of the USA. We assessed activity overlap (Δ) with data from accelerometers onboard global positioning system (GPS) collars worn by wolves (n = 11) and coyotes (n = 13). We analyzed wolf and coyote scat to estimate dietary breadth (B) and food niche overlap (α). We used resource utilization functions (RUFs) with canid GPS location data, white‐tailed deer RUFs, ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) densities, and landscape covariates to compare population‐level space use. Wolves and coyotes exhibited considerable overlap in activity (Δ = 0.86–0.92), diet (B = 3.1–4.9; α = 0.76–1.0), and space use of active and inactive RUFs across time periods. Coyotes relied less on deer as prey compared to wolves and consumed greater amounts of smaller prey items. Coyotes exhibited greater population‐level variation in space use compared to wolves. Additionally, while active and inactive, coyotes exhibited greater selection of some land covers as compared to wolves. Our findings lend support for interference competition between wolves and coyotes with significant overlap across resource attributes examined. The mechanisms through which wolves and coyotes coexist appear to be driven largely by how coyotes, a generalist species, exploit narrow differences in resource availability and display greater population‐level plasticity in resource use.

Living on the edge: spatial response of coyotes (Canis latrans) to wolves (Canis lupus) in the subarctic. Klauder K, Borg B, Prugh L. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 2021 Jan


Understanding how mesopredators manage the risks associated with apex predators is key to explaining impacts of apex predators on mesopredator populations and patterns of mesopredator space use. Here we examine the spatial response of coyotes (Canis latrans Say, 1823) to risk posed by wolves (Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758) using data from sympatric individuals fitted with GPS collars in subarctic Alaska, USA, near the northern range limit for coyotes. We show that coyotes do not universally avoid wolves, but instead demonstrate season-specific responses to both wolf proximity and long-term use of the landscape by wolves. Specifically, coyotes switched from avoiding wolves in summer to preferring areas with wolves in winter, and this selection was consistent across short-term and longer term temporal scales. In the summer, coyotes responded less strongly to risk of wolves when in open areas than when in closed vegetation. We also demonstrate that coyotes maintain extremely large territories averaging 291 km2, and experience low annual survival (0.50) with large carnivores being the largest source of mortality. This combination of attraction and avoidance predicated on season and landcover suggests that mesopredators use complex behavioral strategies to mediate the effects of apex predators.

Aligning Coyote and Human Welfare. BOESEL A, ALEXANDER S. Canadian Wildlife Biology & Management. 2020

Resource selection at homesites by wolves and eastern coyotes in a Canis hybrid zone. Oliveira T, Benson JF, Thompson C, Patterson BR. Ecosphere. 2020 Dec

Tolerance Behavior in Coyotes (Canis Latrans), a Flexible Urban Predator (Doctoral dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder). Beam, E.R., 2020

Mesopredators change temporal activity in response to a recolonizing apex predator. Shores CR, Dellinger JA, Newkirk ES, Kachel SM, Wirsing AJ. Behavioral Ecology. 2019 Jun

Apex predators and the facilitation of resource partitioning among mesopredators. Sivy KJ, Pozzanghera CB, Colson KE, Mumma MA, Prugh LR. Oikos. 2018 Apr

Size‐assortative choice and mate availability influences hybridization between red wolves (Canis rufus) and coyotes (Canis latrans). Hinton JW, Gittleman JL, van Manen FT, Chamberlain MJ. Ecology and evolution. 2018 Apr

Describing a developing hybrid zone between red wolves and coyotes in eastern North Carolina, USA. Bohling JH, Dellinger J, McVey JM, Cobb DT, Moorman CE, Waits LP. Evolutionary applications. 2016 Jul

When shooting a coyote kills a wolf: Mistaken identity or misguided management?. Newsome TM, Bruskotter JT, Ripple WJ. Biodiversity and conservation. 2015 Nov

Production of hybrids between western gray wolves and western coyotes. Mech LD, Christensen BW, Asa CS, Callahan M, Young JK. PLoS One. 2014 Feb

Widespread mesopredator effects after wolf extirpation. Ripple WJ, Wirsing AJ, Wilmers CC, Letnic M. Biological Conservation. 2013 Apr

Trophic cascades linking wolves (Canis lupus), coyotes (Canis latrans), and small mammals. Miller BJ, Harlow HJ, Harlow TS, Biggins D, Ripple WJ. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 2012 Jan (Greater Yellowstone)

Indirect effects and traditional trophic cascades: a test involving wolves, coyotes, and pronghorn. Berger KM, Gese EM, Berger J. Ecology. 2008 Mar

Coyote foraging ecology and vigilance in response to gray wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park. Switalski TA. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 2003 Jun (Yellowstone)

Dietary overlap between wolves and coyotes in northwestern Montana. Arjo WM, Pletscher DH, Ream RR. Journal of Mammalogy. 2002 Aug

Territorial defense by coyotes (Canis latrans) in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: who, how, where, when, and why. Gese EM. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 2001 Jun (Yellowstone)

Behavioral responses of coyotes to wolf recolonization in northwestern Montana. Arjo WM, Pletscher DH. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 2000 Feb

Introgression of coyote mitochondrial DNA into sympatric North American gray wolf populations. Lehman N, Eisenhawer A, Hansen K, Mech LD, Peterson RO, Gogan PJ, Wayne RK. Evolution. 1991 Feb

Population dynamics of coyotes in southeastern Colorado. Gese EM, Rongstad OJ, Mytton WR. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 1989 Jan

Coyote feeding strategies in southeastern Idaho: optimal foraging by an opportunistic predator?. MacCracken JG, Hansen RM. The Journal of wildlife management. 1987 Apr

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