Home range use of coyotes: revisited
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The sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)-steppe is a seemingly homogeneous community in southeastern Idaho, USA, nevertheless coyotes in this community do not use their home ranges uniformly. Also, they display two different movements: back-and-forth (B) and ranging (C). We used a geographic information system analysis to test if coyotes were selecting specific habitat characteristics in this community and if there was a relationship between habitats selected and B and C type movements. Our results show that coyotes exhibit habitat selection within their home range with sagebrush on and off lava as the preferred habitats. They also selected primarily sagebrush-steppe on lava habitat for B movements and sagebrush off lava habitat for C movements. During their 24-hour travels, males and females used different habitat combinations for both B and C movements. Males primarily used the sagebrush on and off lava habitats while females commonly used a wider range of habitat types. There were significant differences in habitat composition of areas coyotes used daily relative to season. Coyotes in general used a greater diversity of habitat types during the pair formation and pup rearing but concentrated their activity in the sagebrush-steppe on lava habitat during gestation. We suggest that coyotes used differing behaviours in different habitat types to meet their daily/seasonal food needs.