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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Monday, November 2 • 4:40pm - 5:00pm
Factors Affecting Coyote Food Use in Florida

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Lauren N. Watine, William M. Giuliano –The University of Florida

The coyote (Canis latrans) is a relatively new predator to the Southeast implicated in the decline of numerous wildlife species, and pet and livestock depredation. However, little is known about coyote effects on important wildlife (e.g., white-tailed deer [Odocoileus virginianus]; hereafter, deer) and domestic (e.g., domestic cats and livestock) species in recently colonized systems such as Florida. Our goal was to understand factors affecting coyote food use, particularly the importance of deer. We collected 263 coyote carcasses throughout Florida, USA (2011-2015), removed their gastrointestinal tracts, and identified food items via micro- and macroscopic characteristics. Morisita’s index (Cλ) was used to assess dietary overlap among coyote groups (e.g., sex, age, season, etc.). A contingency table and likelihood–ratio statistic (G) were used to examine the effects of sex, age, body mass, condition, season (e.g., calendar, calving, and deer), location (e.g., north, central, and south Florida), and collection method (e.g., hunted, trapped, road-killed) on the use of major (e.g., major [e.g., small, medium, and large mammals, insects, mast, etc.], management [e.g., small and large game, livestock, and other], and deer [e.g., deer and other]) food categories among coyote groups. Coyotes had a diverse diet, with 9 food items occurring in ≥5% of the overall diet. There was high dietary overlap between animals of different sex, age, body mass, and season. Generally, coyotes used game more frequently during winter and spring than in summer or fall, with the greatest use of deer occurring during the general gun harvest and fawning seasons.

Monday November 2, 2015 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST
Windsor B

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