Track data analysis indicating the distribution and movement patterns of eastern coyote (canis latrans) on a Cape Cod barrier beach.
Perkins, Stephany G.
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Track count data of eastern coyote on Sandy Neck Beach in Barnstable, MA were collected through GPS mapping of track recovery transects over seven months, between September, 2010 and March, 2011. The Formozov-Malyshev-Pereleshin formula was applied to the track counts to estimate coyote densities, predicting a density of approximately 0.20 coyotes/km2 in the study area. Statistical analyses were conducted on data in order to indicate if coyote movements were influenced by habitat preference, season (month), and east-west location; of these, only habitat type exhibited a statistically significant difference among densities, with coyotes preferring the interdune habitat over the marsh habitat and beachfront. This preference is most likely influenced by food availability and/or anthropogenic presence. The reported study’s preliminary site-specific baseline data may be beneficial for future management plans intent on protecting threatened shore birds while maintaining an appropriate meso-predator component in the Sandy Neck barrier beach/salt marsh ecosystem.
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