Winter Food Habits of Red Foxes and Coyotes in Central Kentucky

Carcasses of 60 coyotes (Canis latrans) and 72 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were collected from November 1986 to February 1987 in the Bluegrass and Knobs region of central Kentucky. Stomach content analysis revealed that diets were similar between the 2 species, with a Hom's index of overlap = 0.81. Coyotes consumed a small variety of relatively large prey items (i.e., items occurred at high frequencies in the stomachs); whereas red foxes ingested a large variety of small prey items. Major dietary items were small mammals (76% of red fox diets, 57% of coyote's) and cottontail rabbit (18% of red fox's, 22% of coyote's). Cattle were a major diet item for coyotes but not for red foxes (28% and 8%. respectively).

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7324