Coyote Research

 
 

My students and I first began studying coyotes (Canis latrans) in 2002.  Coyote populations appear to be on the rise in the eastern U.S.  An animal that was once restricted to areas west of the Mississippi River is now found in all states except Hawaii.  Humans have literally cleared the way for the eastward expansion of coyotes during the past 100 years.  The conversion of forests to agricultural/developed lands and the extirpation of wolves have opened up ecological niches that are now being filled by coyotes.  As a result, coyote activity is on the rise in many metropolitan areas, which has caused curiosity, confusion and concern among many residents. 


Click here for a link to a lecture on “Coexisting with Coyotes”.

Our studies include:


  1. 1)Seasonal Dietary Composition of the Eastern Coyote on the Berry College Campus in Northwestern Georgia.  This study was conducted by Katie Eady Owens, a former Berry undergraduate and M.S. student in Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.


  1. 2)A Dietary Study of Coyotes in Yellowstone National Park.  This project is being conducted in collaboration with the Yellowstone Ecological Research Center (YERC).  YERC has been studying coyotes in Yellowstone since the late 1980s, both pre- and post-gray wolf (Canis lupus) reintroductions in the park.  Coupled with YERC’s data sets on prey populations, climate change, and coyote behavior and demography, dietary information will further our understanding of the coyote’s role in the Yellowstone ecosystem.


  1. 3)Morphology, Longevity and Ranging Patterns of Coyotes in Northwest Georgia. This project incorporated the use of radio-telemetry, camera trapping, and GIS technology to track coyotes on Berry College’s 26,000 acre campus for over 3 years.  Several of the coyotes that we radio-collared were melanistic (i.e., black coat coloration), and home range sizes averaged 36 km2.


  1. 4)Metro Atlanta Coyote Project.  This project is in collaboration with the City of Atlanta and Fernbank Science Center.  We hope to learn more about the behaviors, population size, home range, activity patterns, and distribution of metro Atlanta coyote populations while helping to develop effective management strategies.  To report a sighting of a coyote in Georgia, please click here.