Seasonal Diets of Coyotes in Western Central Alabama

Year-round diet of coyotes (Canis latrans) was assessed from 292 fecal samples using frequency of occurrence of prey types and relative percent volume of prey types. By both measures, the most important food item for each season was rodents, except in the fall when volume of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianust in scats exceeded the volume of rodents. In most cases the 2 methods ranked prey groups identically. Five of the 7 differences between adjacent seasons identified by frequency of occurrence were corroborated by differences in volume. Lagomorphs also were important, and their remains occurred in > 16%of each season's samples. Coyotes utilized rodents, lagomorphs, white-tailed deer, and fruit most often, consistent with other southeastern studies of coyote food habits, although the composite annual average for white-tailed deer (37.6%) exceed all reported levels from southeastern studies. Identifiable remains of eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) and northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) were detected in 3 coyote scats during the study period.

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