Event Title

What’s for Dinner?: Using Morphology and DNA Barcoding to Assess Dietary Composition of Coyotes in the American Southeast

Date

April 2020

Description

Over the past century, coyotes (Canis latrans) have been expanding their geographical range from their historical range west of the Mississippi River to a current range of almost all of North America. The full impacts of these non-native predators on ecosystems in the American Southeast is still unknown. Recent developments, such as a rapidly declining small mammal population in the Great Smoky Mountains, have demonstrated the need to determine how coyotes are interacting with food webs in the ecosystems they have entered. I characterized the diets of coyotes on the Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina by examining stomach contents both morphologically and using DNA barcoding. Preliminary results reflect that coyote are foraging on human food waste. The results of this study will provide information about coyote behavior in the Southeast and provide a basis for understanding the impacts of coyotes in other areas.

Comments

This oral presentation is based on an individual research project.

Presentation Type

Presentation

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What’s for Dinner?: Using Morphology and DNA Barcoding to Assess Dietary Composition of Coyotes in the American Southeast

Over the past century, coyotes (Canis latrans) have been expanding their geographical range from their historical range west of the Mississippi River to a current range of almost all of North America. The full impacts of these non-native predators on ecosystems in the American Southeast is still unknown. Recent developments, such as a rapidly declining small mammal population in the Great Smoky Mountains, have demonstrated the need to determine how coyotes are interacting with food webs in the ecosystems they have entered. I characterized the diets of coyotes on the Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina by examining stomach contents both morphologically and using DNA barcoding. Preliminary results reflect that coyote are foraging on human food waste. The results of this study will provide information about coyote behavior in the Southeast and provide a basis for understanding the impacts of coyotes in other areas.