Coexistence of coyotes (Canis latrans) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in an urban landscape

Marcus A. Mueller, David Drake, Maximilian L. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Urban environments are increasing worldwide and are inherently different than their rural counterparts, with a variety of effects on wildlife due to human presence, increased habitat fragmentation, movement barriers, and access to anthropogenic food sources. Effective management of urban wildlife requires an understanding of how urbanization affects their behavior and ecology. The spatial activity and interactions of urban wildlife, however, have not been as rigorously researched as in rural areas. From January 2015 to December 2016, we captured, radio-collared, and tracked 11 coyotes and 12 red foxes in Madison, WI. Within our study area, coyotes strongly selected home ranges with high proportions of natural areas; conversely, red foxes selected home ranges with open space and moderately developed areas. Use of highly developed areas best explained variation among individual home range sizes and inversely affected home range size for coyotes and red foxes. Coyote and red fox home ranges showed some degree of spatial and temporal overlap, but generally appeared partitioned by habitat type within our study area. Coyotes and red foxes were both active at similar times of the day, but their movement patterns differed based on species-specific habitat use. This spatial partitioning may promote positive co-existence between these sympatric canids in urban areas, and our findings of spatial activity and interactions will better inform wildlife managers working in urban areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0190971
JournalPloS one
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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