Use of urban habitats by coyotes in the vicinity of Banff Alberta

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Abstract

Little information is available on the degree to which coyotes (Canis latrans) use urban habitats. In the past, interactions between coyotes and humans have precipitated several instances of coyote aggression towards humans. Consequently, I analyzed use of urban habitats by coyotes and the possibilities for aggressive encounters with humans. In this study, 11 radio-collared coyotes were monitored between July 1991 and September 1992. Use/availability analysis demonstrated a clear difference in use of natural habitats between summer and winter. Urban habitats were used in direct proportion to availability during all time periods, except during the day in summer when coyotes avoided intense human activity. Campgrounds were not an attraction during either season. For the most part, coyotes in the vicinity of Banff used habitats available to them regardless of human activity. Evidence does not suggest the coyote population in the vicinity of Banff is predisposed to aggression due to familiarity with humans. The relationship between the data and coyote aggression towards humans is discussed.

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