Spatial home-range overlap and temporal interaction in eastern coyotes: the influence of pair types and fragmentation

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Abstract:

No data exist regarding the linkage between the dispersion of critical resources and the spatial distribution of eastern coyotes (Canis latrans). From February 2000 to January 2002, we investigated landscape-level correlates of fragmentation with coyote spacing patterns and interaction in west-central Indiana to determine whether habitat fragmentation may influence spatiotemporal home-range overlap. Eleven pairs of coyotes (four male–female, four male–male, three female–female) displayed spatial overlap in portions of their home-range utilization distributions; seven pairs interacted temporally. Percent home-range overlap of space-sharing pairs averaged 55%. Area of forested habitat within the overlap zone, pair type, and mean squared difference of nearest-neighbor distances between forested patches explained substantial amounts of variation in percent home-range overlap (R2 = 0.83, P < 0.001). Extent of temporal interaction differed by pair type, as male–male pairs interacted substantially more than male–female and female–female pairs. Five (two male–male, three male–female) of seven temporally interacting pairs exhibited simultaneous attraction to the overlap zone. The complex combination of environmental pressures present in human-dominated landscapes may facilitate spatiotemporal home-range overlap in coyotes.

Il n'existe aucune information sur le lien entre la dispersion des ressources critiques et la répartition spatiale des coyotes de l'est (Canis latrans). De février 2000 à janvier 2002, nous avons étudié les facteurs associés à la fragmentation au niveau du paysage, de même que les patterns d'espacement et les interactions des coyotes dans le centre-ouest de l'Indiana, pour déterminer si la fragmentation de l'habitat influence le chevauchement spatiotemporel des aires vitales. Onze paires de coyotes (quatre paires mâle–femelle, quatre paires mâle–mâle, trois paires femelle–femelle) montraient des chevauchements spatiaux des portions utilisées de leurs aires vitales respectives; sept paires interagissaient sur le plan temporel. Le pourcentage de chevauchement chez les paires qui partageaient de l'espace était en moyenne de 55 %. La surface boisée dans la zone de chevauchement, le type de paire de coyotes et la différence moyenne au carré des distances du plus proche voisin entre les parcelles boisées expliquaient une partie importante de la variation du pourcentage de chevauchement des aires vitales (R2 = 0,83, P < 0,001). L'importance des interactions temporelles variait selon le type de paire et les paires mâle–mâle avaient beaucoup plus d'interactions que les couples mâle–femelle ou femelle–femelle. Cinq (deux paires mâle–mâle, trois paires mâle–femelle) des sept paires à interagir sur le plan temporel possédaient une attirance simultanée pour la région de chevauchement. La combinaison complexe des pressions environnementales qui existent dans les paysages dominés par les humains peut favoriser le chevauchement spatiotemporel des aires vitales chez les coyotes.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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