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Wednesday, January 27 • 11:00am - 11:20am
Influence Of Urbanization On The Body Condition Of The Coyote Canis Latrans In The Chicago Metropolitan Area

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AUTHORS: Ashley Wurth*, Ohio State University; Seth Newsome, University of New Mexico; Shane McKenzie, Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation; Stan Gehrt, Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: The health and ecology of wildlife species are affected by urbanization due to factors such as the presence of anthropogenic food resources, road density, stress, and habitat quality. For some species, urbanization results in increased body condition and weight, while others are negatively affected. We utilized a 15-year data set to compare the body condition of coyotes by using body weights and a scaled mass index (SMI) along a suburb-urban gradient in the Chicago metropolitan area (CMA). As coyotes in highly urbanized areas inhabit areas densely populated by humans and have larger home ranges than suburban area, we hypothesized that urban coyotes would have poorer SMI than suburban coyotes. However, in rural areas coyotes also exhibit larger home ranges and have high mortality rates relative to suburban areas or fragments of natural habitats. Therefore, we also tested the hypothesis that condition of coyotes does not differ between suburban and rural areas by comparing previously published data on rural Illinois coyotes to coyotes near Chicago in both suburban and core urban areas. Results did not indicate that urbanization negatively influences body condition but suggests that body condition might actually increase in urban areas. Overall, it is clear that urbanization is not negatively impacting body condition in coyotes.

Wednesday January 27, 2016 11:00am - 11:20am EST
Vandenberg A