Food Habits of Coyotes in Northwestern Florida

Recent declines in deer densities in some areas of Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, have prompted concerns regarding the impact of coyote (Canis latrans) predation. We determined the food habits of coyotes from analysis of 166 scats collected on Eglin AFB from November 1994 to October 1996. We compared the frequency of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) remains found in scats collected in high- and low-deer density areas during the deer fawning season to evaluate impacts of coyotes on white-tailed deer. Important coyote foods (by frequency of occurrence) were shrub/vine fruit (80%), beetles (55%), persimmon (27%), and deer (15%). Deer occurred most often (29%) during the fawning season. There was no difference in the frequency of deer remains found in scats collected in high- and low-deer density areas. The dominance of soft mast in the diet illustrates the important role that soft mast can play in the diet of coyotes.

Starting page
269
Ending page
275
ID
14600