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Data from: Poor health is associated with use of anthropogenic resources in an urban carnivore

Citation

Murray, Maureen; Edwards, Mark A.; Abercrombie, Bill; St. Clair, Colleen Cassady (2015), Data from: Poor health is associated with use of anthropogenic resources in an urban carnivore, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9mt2v

Abstract

Rates of encounters between humans and wildlife are increasing in cities around the world, especially when wildlife overlap with people in time, space and resources. Coyotes (Canis latrans) can make use of anthropogenic resources and reported rates of conflict have increased in cities across North America. This increase may be linked to individual differences in the use of human food and developed areas. We compared the relationships between coyote age, sex or health and the use of anthropogenic resources, which we defined as using developed areas over large home ranges, being active during the day, and consuming anthropogenic food. To do so, we applied GPS collars to 19 coyotes and sampled hair for stable isotope analysis. Eleven coyotes appeared to be healthy and eight were visibly infested with sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei), a mite that causes hair loss. Diseased coyotes used more developed areas, had larger monthly home ranges, were more active during the day, and assimilated less protein than coyotes that appeared to be healthy. We speculate that anthropogenic food provides a low-quality but easily accessible food source for diseased coyotes, which in turn may increase reliance on it and other anthropogenic resources to promote encounters with people.

Usage Notes

Location

Alberta
Edmonton