Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Fisheries and Wildlife

Committee Chair(s)

David F. Balph


David F. Balph


Frederick F. Knowlton


Carl D. Cheney


The purpose of this study was to explore the response v of coyotes (Canis latrans) to certain olfactory and visual stimuli. It was assumed that the findings would be of value in refining techniques used in sampling and controlling coyotes. The specific objectives were to determine (1) if coyotes were more likely to approach and remain in the vicinity of a familiar than unfamiliar scent, (2) if the response to olfactory and visual stimuli differed, (3) if positively reinforcing an approach to the stimuli differentially altered the response to visual and olfactory stimuli, and (4) if the response differed with sex and social rank. The results failed to reject each of the null hypotheses implicit in the four objectives. Two factors that may have contributed to these findings were that subjects were too accustomed to "novelty" and there was a lack of behavioral control during the tests. On the basis of the results of this study, it is suggested that coyotes are so sensitive to their surroundings and so accommodating in their behavior that behavioral test results may simply reflect their responses to specific captive and test conditions.