Date of Award:

1977

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Advisor/Chair:

Frederick F. Knowlton

Abstract

Standard radio telemetry techniques via triangulation were used to determine coyote locations and to construct maps of coyote movement patterns in Curlew Valley (Utah and Idaho). Home range sizes were determined by establishing corresponding boundaries drawn on the basis of location, density and relative number of visitations (contour method), and then tracing the boundaries with a compensating polar planimeter. Mean home range sizes were determined directly for only those animals with home range values that reached an asymptote when plotted against corresponding time periods. This asymptotic value was considered the best estimate of the actual home range size. Four adult females and one adult male were in this category, with mean values of 18.3 km2 and 14.5 km2 respectively . The asymptote was estimated for home ranges which did not stabilize (mean values of 20.2 and 17.8 km for adult females and males respectively) using a home range estimator; validation of the estimator is discussed. Since no juvenile animal 's home range appeared to reach an asymptote, no asymptotic estimates were made . Various methods of constructing home range boundaries, their advantages and disadvantages, are listed. Standardization in the home range concept is necessary if meaningful comparisons are to be made between studies. Home ranges are dynamic, and must be considered in terms of specific time frames. Guidelines for adequate description of the home range are discussed with emphasis on quantity of data, time requirements and recognition of seasonal shifts in the home range. Map analysis suggested three general patterns with regard to home ranges; namely, animals with contiguous home range areas, those with disjunct home ranges, and wandering individuals. Fifty percent of the coyotes were trapped more than 0.5 km outside home range boundaries while an additional 42 percent were trapped on the periphery of the home range. Only 8 percent, all juveniles, were trapped within their home range. None of the 21 animals killed by hunters or trappers died well within their respective home ranges. Twenty-nine percent were killed on the periphery of their home ranges and 71 percent were killed an average of 11 km outside their home range ~n··~rl~Ties. Several movement patterns other than home range were discernible, including brief excursions away from the home range (sallies), dispersals, and total area utilized. Mean dispersal distances for adul t males, juvenile males and females respectively were 56, 9 and 54 km; no adult female was known to disperse. Juvenile females had the greatest tendency to disperse with 53 percent involved; juvenile males, 33 percent and adult males, 30 percent. Sallies were analyzed according to distance, duration and frequency, with adult females having the longest (4.9 km) and the greatest number of sallies (7.9 per month), and adult males spending the most time per sally (16.2 hours) as well as time per month (72.9 hours) in sally activity. The total area utilized by coyotes is discussed in terms of size and measurement. Mean values for total areas utilized are 138 km2 for adult females, 90 km 2 for adult males, 68 km2 for juvenile males and 46 km 2 for juvenile females. Home range configuration is discussed in terms of importance and variability in form, with the majority of shapes being ameboid in character. Linearity may be a function of the method used to establish home range boundaries and use of baseline data from fixed radio telemetry stations.

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