Date of Award:

12-2009

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Advisor/Chair:

Michael R. Conover

Abstract

I studied the relationship between coyote (Canis latrans) removal and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) density and fawn:doe ratios in southwest Wyoming and northeast Utah in 2007 and 2008. Coyote removal variables studied included the number of coyotes removed, ground hours worked, total hours worked, coyotes removed/aerial gunning hour, coyotes removed/ground work hour, and coyotes removed/total effort hour. None of the variables explained changes observed in fawn:doe ratios of pronghorn or mule deer. The number of coyotes removed, ground hours worked, total hours worked, and coyotes removed/aerial gunning hour were positively correlated with pronghorn density. However, none of the coyote removal variables were correlated with mule deer density. Coyote removal conducted in the winter and spring explained more variation and had a stronger positive correlation with fawn survival and ungulate density than removal conducted in the summer or fall. My results suggest that coyote removal conducted over large areas may increase density of pronghorn. However, coyote removal did not appear to increase mule deer fawn survival or density.

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