Taxonomic Status of the Coyote in Tennessee

To assess the taxonomic status of the coyote (Canis latrans) in Tennessee, the relationship of 61 Tennessee canids (unknown taxonomically) were compared to specimens of coyotes, dogs (C. familiaris), and red wolves (C. rufus). Twelve skull measurements were used in the assessment. Discriminant function analysis showed a well-defined separation of canid groups sampled. Tennessee canids clustered distinctly and were statistically separable from dog and red wolf groups. Hybridization between taxa was minimal. The wild coyote-like canids occurring in Tennessee are taxonomically coyotes.

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